Hail facts and safety tips
- Hail is considered "severe" when it reaches the diameter of a penny, or 3/4".
- On average, there are six severe hail reports in Harris County every year.
- Hail storms in Harris County have caused $23 million in damages since 1950.
- One storm alone produced $20 million of hail damage in Houston on April 16th, 2001. So much hail accumulated in parts of town that the hail could still be seen on the ground the next day!
- While rare, baseball-sized hailstones have been reported 9 times in Harris County.
If you're in your car during a hailstorm, slow down and head for the nearest covered parkway, however do not stop under a highway overpass. If you cannot find cover, keep driving at a slower speed to help reduce the impact of the hail hitting your car. Pea and marble-sized hail normally won't do any noticeable damage to your car, but golf ball and baseball-sized hail can dent the exterior and crack your windshield.
Large hailstones can reach speeds of 100 mph by the time they reach the ground. If you are caught outside during a hailstorm, quickly seek shelter inside a building while protecting your head from the falling hail. A direct hit to your head could knock you unconscious. If you cannot move inside a building, seek shelter under a covered structure or hop inside your car.
Once you've moved inside during a hailstorm, stay way from the windows. Large hail can break through glass and you don't want to get hit by a flying shard if the window breaks.
There's not much you can do to protect your roof and plants from hail, but if given enough advanced notice, you can always park your car in the garage before the storm arrives.
(Copyright © 2007, KTRK-TV)Related Links:
- Flooding Facts and Safety Tips
- Lightning Facts and Safety Tips
- Hail Facts and Safety Tips
- Tornado Facts and Safety Tips
- Severe Wind Facts and Safety Tips
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