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How to Prepare for Summer’s Severe Weather: Hail

Hail stones

Wikimedia Commons / FCB Excalibur

Do you know why hailstorms happen? Updrafts in thunderclouds will sometimes carry raindrops or snow pellets upwards to where it’s so cold that the raindrops freeze and combine into lumps of ice. Then, when they get too heavy to be supported by the wind any longer, they plummet to earth at speeds of sometimes more than 100km per hour!

Rain and snow can be dangerous in large quantities, but hail can cause injury just from one hail stone striking you! In Canada, hailstones as large as grapefruits have been reported, with one of the largest recorded (in Canadian History) falling in Saskatchewan, at 290 grams. So if you live in the Prairies or Ontario—the Canadian regions most prone to hail—it’s wise to know your facts about hail.

Find out more about hail in Canada here, and make sure you read on for some life-saving tips on staying safe during a hailstorm!

  1. As always, stay tuned in to relevant weather forecast.
  2. If the weather is threatening, find shelter in a solid building as quickly as possible. Once inside, it’s best to stay away from windows or any glass, as the hail may break through and shatter it.
  3. If you are in a vehicle, pull over quickly and shield yourself from possible shattering glass.
  4. If there is no shelter in sight, it’s best to crouch down, face away from the wind and cover you head and neck as best you can.
  5. Be on the lookout for heavy flooding, as hail and rain combined can quickly plug up storm drains. On a side note, if there is flooding, you may very well need some flood barriers for your home. You can get them here!
  6. If the hailstorm is also a thunderstorm, be aware of how far away the lightning is, and avoid tall or metal objects as much as possible. For more information on lightning, you can also take a look at this article from the CDC.

When it comes to summertime, it’s easy to slip into an idyllic sense of everything going right. And while we don’t want to spoil anything for you, it’s a great idea to prepare while everything’s going right, because nothing lasts forever!

Article contributed by Sophie Wooding – Avid gardener and cyclist in Victoria, BC and Content Writer for Frontier.io

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