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Hail Alley: Where Is It?


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  • Hail is a weather event commonly associated with intense thunderstorms and tornadoes. But there is more to this unique weather phenomenon than meets the eye. For instance, there is a “Hail Alley” in North America. Unlike the more common Tornado Alley, Hail Alley covers a smaller portion of the United States.

    Want to know more about Hail Alley, where it is located, and how hail forms? Read on for the details and find out how SERVPRO® can help clean and restore your home or business if hail ever hits.

    Where is Hail Alley?

    Experts at the NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory state that Hail Alley is located where Nebraska, Colorado, and Wyoming meet. That is because this area averages seven to nine hail days each year. Furthermore, Discover Magazine says that the region from Wyoming to Texas experiences more hailstorms than any other part of the United States.

    While Florida is the state with the most thunderstorms, Colorado, Wyoming, and New Mexico tend to experience the most hail.

    What is Hail?

    According to the National Weather Service, hail is defined as “precipitation that is formed when updrafts in thunderstorms carry raindrops upward into extremely cold areas of the atmosphere.”Once these raindrops harden and become too heavy to stay in the air, they fall to the ground.

    Determining hail speed is a complicated matter, as it largely depends on:

    • Size of hailstone
    • Wind conditions
    • Level of melting on the hailstone itself
    • Friction between the air and the hailstone

    The National Weather Service has a useful chart that notes approximate hail speed depending on size. Smaller hailstones can make landfall at 24 miles per hour or less, while the biggest hail on record can hit the ground in excess of 100 miles per hour.

    Is Hail Dangerous?

    Given the fact that hail can range in size from smaller, pebble-sized chunks to objects the size of golf balls or larger, it can cause extreme damage to properties, people, and animals. In fact, hail can be deadly. During the March 2000 Fort Worth, Texas, tornado, a person was killed after being hit by a grapefruit-size hail. So, it is always best to be safe and remain inside during a hailstorm or other violent weather. According to Purdue University, if you’re caught outside during a hailstorm and are not near a building or car to take cover in, do everything you can to protect your head. If nothing else, take off your shoes and use them to protect your head as much as possible.

    Can SERVPRO Clean Up Hail Damage?

    SERVPRO is equipped to handle all types of hail damage, from minor vehicle scuffs to severe destruction of your home or business’s exterior. SERVPRO technicians will implement a storm damage restoration process to return your property to pre-loss condition. In fact, we have strategically placed storm teams around the country, prepared to respond to any size disaster 24/7.We also offer commercial large loss services if your business experiences severe hail damage, as well as roof tarping and board-up assistance.

    We recommend following these tips, both in preparation for and following storm damage such as hail:

    • According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, wear the following items when cleaning up after a storm, including hail:
      • Hard hat
      • Eye goggles
      • Long pants
      • N-95 respirator
      • Work gloves
      • Steel-toed boots
      • Hearing protection
      • Long-sleeved shirt
    • Avoid lifting heavy items by yourself
    • Ensure the area is safe by assessing downed power lines, other electrical hazards, construction materials, and contaminated water as you begin initial inspection and cleanup
    • Secure outside items
      • This includes bringing items like grills, trampolines, trash cans, canopies, awnings, and children’s toys inside, if possible
    • Trim tree branches and other hazards that may fall on or cause damage to your roof during hail and other forceful weather conditions
    • Contact your insurance agent for next steps should you find outstanding damage due to hail or other storm conditions
      • Your local SERVPRO franchise will work with your insurance company throughout the cleanup and restoration process

    SERVPRO is Here to Help® 24/7

    With more than 2,000 franchise locations across the United States and Canada, rest assured there is a SERVPRO location near you. Our technicians are highly trained and have more than five decades of industry experience. With the personalized care of a local cleanup and restoration company but the resources of a national brand, there is a SERVPRO nearby, so don’t hesitate when hail damage strikes. Whether you experience hail damage on a weekend, holiday, or at 3 in the morning, we understand time is of the essence. Call your local SERVPRO today. We are here to help, and committed to returning your property to pre-loss condition, “Like it never even happened.”

    For more information, visit our FAQ and Glossary.


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