What Hail!

By Derek Stoner, Conservation Program Coordinator

A handful of hail stones, some as large as grapes. Held by Shannon, one of the DNS summer camp interns. Image by Derek Stoner, June 9, 2011.

Tonight at about 7:47pm, a fast-moving storm front passed over Ashland Nature Center, unleashing a fury of hail stones in a five-minute span.   In the midst of a training session for summer camp, our group dashed back inside and listened to the loud thwacks of hail striking the roof and windows. 

I ran outside to gather the larger hail stones, some of which were the size of grapes!  The icy cold hail provided a stark contrast to the 100-degree temperature earlier in the day.

Today’s heat wave set the stage for classic late day thunderstorm, and we certainly got a storm, albeit a very brief one.  Hail is one of nature’s most fascinating phenomena and one that certainly leaves an impression– sometimes literally!  The welt on my head is a testament to one hail stone that did not miss me.   We can only hope that the nesting birds and all the other animals did not get injured by the frozen projecticles hurtling from the sky!

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