South Dakota gets more than its fair share of hail

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - When it comes to hailstorms, South Dakota is in the top 10 and that isn’t good.

Image License Cropped Photo: Shiny Things / CC BY 2.0

According to State Farm Insurance, hail damage cost its policy holders $2.4 billion in 2014.

Still, we are fascinated by hail, mostly what the size is. For many, how it is formed remains a mystery.

Hail starts in a cloud when an ice embryo or nuclei collides with liquid water droplets that are below freezing. As the droplets freeze onto the embryo, the hail starts to grow.

Here’s something interesting to do one day. Cut open a hailstone and you will see layers of clear and white ice, which represent different types of growth.