Hail Reports In 2018 So Far
Several recent very large hail damage incidents have made news over the past few months. This included hail that was up to 3″ in diameter in Dallas back in June and hail that was up to softball sized in the Colorado Springs, CO, area earlier in August. Earlier this week, the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association said that the early August storm around Colorado Springs caused $172.8 million in damages. That would rank this storm as the second most expensive storm in recorded history for the Colorado Springs area and the fourteenth most expensive storm for Colorado.
The image above shows all hail reports – ranging from 0.25″ in diameter to 5″ in diameter – across the country so far this year. The data set shows data from 6z on January 1st to 12z on August 16th. Overall there have been 9,694 hail reports according to local storm reports gathered up by the Iowa Environmental Mesonet.
When you separate out what the Storm Prediction Center considers significant large hail (2″+ in diameter), we can see most of those reports have occurred across the Plains. There have been 648 reports of hail that was at least two inches in diameter so far. Only 83 of those reports were hail that was at least 3″ in diameter.
Eleventh Straight Year Of $10 Billion In Hail Damage Expected
A recent conference in Boulder, Colorado, focused directly on hailstorms. At this conference, Ian Giammanco, a lead research meteorologist of the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety, said that approximately 70% of severe weather insurance claims filed yearly are from hail damage. Experts say that already in 2018 insured severe weather losses are at $8.22 billion (most of that due to hail damage) and that this year is likely to be the eleventh year in a row with $10 billion in claims from hail damage.
Meanwhile, according to Bryan Wood, a meteorologist for Assurant, costly hailstorms have been increasing due to three factors: urban sprawl, home sizes, and the cost of roofing materials. He has more details on that over at the Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang.
Did you know? A study released in Nature Climate Change in June 2017 showed that while the number of hailstorms may decrease in a warmer environment, the size of the hail would likely increase. (CNN article)
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