How does hail form?

Hail is a form of precipitation that typically forms during a thunderstorm.  Updrafts of warm air quickly rise and enter the freezing zone of the atmosphere to produce precipitation.

As a thunderstorm gets larger, updrafts bring moisture into the region of the atmosphere that is below freezing. The moisture will produce water droplets. These water droplets will combine to produce hail.  As more water droplets come together, that increase the diameter or size of the hail. 

The stronger the storm, the stronger the updraft -- which in turn can produce larger hail.

The type of hail that is produced in Florida is associated with what is known as "wet growth" of hail.  The temperature outside when thunderstorms occur is usually not below freezing. During "wet growth," the water droplets collide where the air is below freezing and continue to gather, slowly freezing on the way down. That is why the hail shapes are usually not perfectly round.

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