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States with the most hailstorms

  • States with the most hailstorms

    The Mexican city of Guadalajara, which is home to 1.5 million people, on July 2, 2019, was buried under five feet of ice in a bombastic example of hail season. Hailstorms are caused when updrafts in a thunderstorm carry water to high altitudes, where the water freezes into pellets, eventually becoming so heavy that they fall to Earth.

    Already in 2019, thousands of hailstorms have rocked the country. Hailstorms can occur from May through September but are most common during spring months. The ice rocks aren't just a bother but an economic disaster; in some parts of the country, hail damage costs billions, affecting homes, businesses, and vehicles.

    There are easy ways to prepare for a hailstorm. If driving, one should immediately find shelter under an overpass, gas station, or another roofed area. At home, stay inside and wait out the storm. Hailstorms generally don't cause human casualties, just damage to property, but it's better to be safe and stay inside if possible. When it's over, inspect roofs and windows for damage and leaks, and check vehicles for dents or broken glass before going inside.

    Some states have weather patterns and geography that are much more conducive to hailstorms. Others not so much. Good news for residents of Rhode Island, Delaware, Alaska, and Hawaii: No significant hailstorms have hit these states in recent years, so they've been omitted from this list. Otherwise, Stacker used March 2019 data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association to rank every state by how many hailstorms it experienced between January 2009 and December 2018 with ties broken by the amount of property damage they caused. Stacker only counted hailstorms that caused property damage to provide the best look at which states suffer extreme hail events and which are spared. Stacker also identified the hail events which have caused the most damage in each state in the past 10 years and pulled in NOAA's descriptions of these events to give you an idea of the destruction that hailstorms can leave in their wake.

    Read on to find out where hailstorms cause the most damage—and may all cars and roofs be spared.

    You may also like: Sunniest states in the U.S.

  • #47. New Hampshire

    - Total hailstorms, 20092018: 1
    - Total property damage caused by hailstorms: $10,000 (#2 lowest)
    - Annual property damage per capita: $0.001 (#4 lowest)
    - Worst hailstorm: 2014 storm in Hillsborough ($10,000 in property damage)
    - Event description from NOAA: An upper-level disturbance moved through southern New England, igniting showers and thunderstorms across the area. Many of these storms produced small to large size hail thanks to very cold temperatures aloft.

  • #46. Maine

    - Total hailstorms, 20092018: 1
    - Total property damage caused by hailstorms: $1 million (#11 lowest)
    - Annual property damage per capita: $0.07 (#18 lowest)
    - Worst hailstorm: 2016 storm in Aroostook ($1 million in property damage)
    - Event description from NOAA: An isolated severe thunderstorm moved across northeast Aroostook County during the early morning hours of the 11th in advance of a cold front. The storm produced large hail which dented vehicles and broke windows in the Caribou area. Hundreds of vehicles received varying degrees of hail damage. Hail damage to vehicles in the Caribou area was estimated at around $1 million.

  • #45. Oregon

    - Total hailstorms, 20092018: 2
    - Total property damage caused by hailstorms: $1,200 (#1 lowest)
    - Annual property damage per capita: $0.00003 (#1 lowest)
    - Worst hailstorm: 2009 storm in Umatilla ($1,000 in property damage)
    - Event description from NOAA: An upper level trough combined with an approaching cold front and daytime heating produced severe thunderstorms. A brief tornado was observed near Adams in Umatilla County also near Wallowa in Wallowa County.

  • #44. Connecticut

    - Total hailstorms, 20092018: 4
    - Total property damage caused by hailstorms: $130,000 (#5 lowest)
    - Annual property damage per capita: $0.004 (#5 lowest)
    - Worst hailstorm: 2018 storm in Hartford ($70,000 in property damage)
    - Event description from NOAA: A cold front over the Great Lakes moved through Southern New England during the late afternoon and early night of May 15. The air mass over Connecticut was very warm and humid, and as the cold front moved into this air it generated numerous thunderstorms. Some thunderstorms produced damaging wind gusts, large hail, and heavy downpours.

  • #43. New Jersey

    - Total hailstorms, 20092018: 5
    - Total property damage caused by hailstorms: $21,000 (#3 lowest)
    - Annual property damage per capita: $0.0002 (#2 lowest)
    - Worst hailstorm: 2011 storm in Atlantic ($10,000 in property damage)
    - Event description from NOAA: The combination of an unseasonably hot and humid air mass and an approaching cold front helped trigger a line of strong to severe thunderstorms that moved through New Jersey during the evening.

  • #42. Washington

    - Total hailstorms, 20092018: 6
    - Total property damage caused by hailstorms: $22,750 (#4 lowest)
    - Annual property damage per capita: $0.0003 (#3 lowest)
    - Worst hailstorm: 2014 storm in Stevens ($21,000 in property damage)
    - Event description from NOAA: A deep trough of low pressure dropped down the Washington Coastline then swung inland into the Inland Northwest during the afternoon of July 23. The wave took on a strong negative tilt and moved into a moist and very unstable air mass. The outcome was a widespread severe weather event for eastern Washington and northern Idaho producing large hail, flash flooding, and widespread wind damage. Large hail and heavy rain were the initial threats early in the afternoon. Late in the afternoon, the threat shifted to damaging winds with hundreds of downed or snapped trees. The hardest hit areas were northeastern Washington and northern Idaho. Falling trees led to some injuries in eastern Washington.

  • #41. Massachusetts

    - Total hailstorms, 20092018: 7
    - Total property damage caused by hailstorms: $3.1 million (#15 lowest)
    - Annual property damage per capita: $0.04 (#13 lowest)
    - Worst hailstorm: 2013 storm in Hampden ($3 million in property damage)
    - Event description from NOAA: An upper level disturbance moved across southern New England igniting showers and thunderstorms. A cold pool aloft allowed for steep mid-level lapse rates as well as temperatures cold enough for large hail. Storms were isolated but produced damaging winds in northern Connecticut and up to half-dollar size hail in southwestern Massachusetts.

  • #40. Maryland

    - Total hailstorms, 20092018: 9
    - Total property damage caused by hailstorms: $788,000 (#9 lowest)
    - Annual property damage per capita: $0.01 (#8 lowest)
    - Worst hailstorm: 2010 storm in Charles ($753,000 in property damage)
    - Event description from NOAA: High pressure over the western Atlantic pumped in plenty of warm and humid air on the 14. An upper-level disturbance passed through the region during the afternoon and evening hours, bringing showers and thunderstorms. Moderate-to-high amounts of instability was present due to relatively colder air aloft and warm, moist air at the surface. This caused thunderstorms to become severe with large hail being the primary threat.

  • #39. Florida

    - Total hailstorms, 20092018: 9
    - Total property damage caused by hailstorms: $791,550 (#10 lowest)
    - Annual property damage per capita: $0.004 (#6 lowest)
    - Worst hailstorm: 2013 storm in Leon ($720,000 in property damage)
    - Event description from NOAA: A series of upper level disturbance rotating around a mean longwave trough west of the area brought copious amounts of moisture into the area. The KTAE rawinsonde sounding on the evening of Feb. 22 measured a PWAT value of 1.77 inches, which was the 2nd highest PWAT observed during the month of February at that location. Rainfall amounts generally between 9 and 14 inches were observed during the 5-day period between Feb. 22-26 across the Tallahassee area with similar amounts across the remainder of the Florida Panhandle. This led to areas of flooding. There were also some severe storms during the early morning hours of Feb. 26. The southeast big bend saw significantly less rainfall.

  • #38. Nevada

    - Total hailstorms, 20092018: 12
    - Total property damage caused by hailstorms: $105 million (#13 highest)
    - Annual property damage per capita: $3.46 (#12 highest)
    - Worst hailstorm: 2012 storm in Clark ($50 million in property damage)
    - Event description from NOAA: A strong push of monsoon moisture fueled a five-day outbreak of thunderstorms over the Mojave Desert and southern Great Basin. Numerous storms produced flash flooding and/or severe weather.

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