Hail: the Hard Truth

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At this point, everyone knows about climate change. There are bigger hurricanes than ever before. Texas has record freezes in winter while the Pacific Northwest experiences heatwaves that would have desert rats running for cover. What you don’t hear about as much is the change in hail storms. Unfortunately, climate change hasn’t skipped ice rocks from the sky.

More Frequent Hail Storms

If you live in “hail alley” near the confluence of Wyoming, Nebraska and Colorado, you probably already have your hail damage repair Denver CO representative on speed dial to deal with the seven to nine days of hail you experience each year. In one recent study, scientists calculated that the country as a whole is experiencing an 11.6% increase in hailstorms each decade.  

Hail Is Destructive

For areas where hail is still seen as a novelty, it’s hard to believe that a little ice can be so destructive. It’s the fact that it is so often unexpected and in some cases, nothing can be done to prevent the damage it causes. The May 2017 hail storm in Denver, with baseball-size hail falling for about 15 minutes caused nearly $2.3 billion in damage, as ice fell on cars trying to get home during rush hour, and caved in the ceiling at a local mall. It was the most expensive natural disaster in Colorado history. 

Hail Storms Are Spreading

The study above also noted that damaging storms like the one in Denver are going to become more common in a larger area. States like Kansas that previously had little hail suddenly experienced an increase of over 50 hail days within one year. No longer isolated to hail alley, more states are experiencing damaging hail storms. Hail can approach 70 miles per hour and doesn’t just affect cars and buildings; as it becomes more common in Midwest states like Kansas, it is likely that hail will affect the nation’s food supply, wiping out crops in just a few minutes. 

Preparedness and Improvisation Are the Keys

As the people of Denver learned, when you get a warning about hail, get prepared. For some, that means staying home with the car in the garage. If you don’t have a garage, improvise. Tying pool floats to your vehicle can help deflect hail or invest in a specialized vehicle cover. If you’re driving pull under a bridge or overpass. 

As hail increases its hold in the U.S., new technology will arise to meet the demands of those impacted by these storms.