On Monday, May 8th a vicious hail storm went through north Denver, denting cars, breaking windows and flooding streets. It even attacked out Denver bus Daisy, who had all of her rear light broken. Hail as big as golf balls, and even baseballs was reported, which is ironic because the storm caused 3 Banjo Billy employees to cut short a round of golf, and also caused the Rockies game against the Cubs that night to be postponed. The picture below is not snow, if is the amount of hail that fell that day.
This kind of hailstorm is not unusual in this part of the country. In fact, the Front Range and Eastern Plains of Colorado are part of a “Hail Alley” that creates weather conditions conducive to creating this type of storm. In fact, the front range gets an average of 10 days a year with hail (and 300 with sunshine!).
The cause is that the mountains sometimes cause an updraft of air of air. Clouds can contain water that is far colder that what we believe is freezing, but still in a liquid state. Once something causes that to form into a particle, if gathers more cold water into ice the longer it stays up in the cloud. And the updrafts help keep that little particle grow into a dangerous hailstone. So, if you see a really, really dark cloud approaching you in Colorado, either get inside or grab a helmet.
Daisy has been repaired, and is again taking people looking to laugh and learn on tours of Denver. Meanwhile, her sister Rosey was in Boulder, where it barely rained. Come visit our girls this weekend.