Hail Falls on Santa Monica

By David Ganezer

For the first time since 2014, it has hailed in Santa Monica. The white pebbles bounced off Montana Avenue, in this video from our news desk shot on Feb. 15th at 4:40 pm PST. Ice fell from Westside skies as a band of cold rain passed through the region, 2 days after 80 degree temperatures during the Super Bowl. It was accompanied by the sound of thunder.

Hail is a form of solid precipitation. It is distinct from ice pellets (American English "sleet"), though the two are often confused. It consists of balls or irregular lumps of ice, each of which is called a hailstone. Ice pellets generally fall in cold weather, while hail growth is greatly inhibited during cold surface temperatures, says Wikipedia

Unlike other forms of water ice precipitation, such as graupel (which is made of rime ice), ice pellets (which are smaller and translucent), and snow (which consists of tiny, delicately-crystalline flakes or needles), hailstones usually measure between 5 mm (0.2 in) and 15 cm (6 in) in diameter. The METAR reporting code for hail 5 mm (0.20 in) or greater is GR, while smaller hailstones and graupel are coded GS.

Hail is possible within most thunderstorms (as it is produced by cumulonimbus), as well as within 2 nmi (3.7 km) of the parent storm. Hail formation requires environments of strong, upward motion of air with the parent thunderstorm (similar to tornadoes) and lowered heights of the freezing level. In the mid-latitudes, hail forms near the interiors of continents, while, in the tropics, it tends to be confined to high elevations.

Note: Some people say it hailed in Santa Monica last December, but this is disputed


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