Of all the phenomena that we find in nature, both snow and hail are two of the most striking due to their ability to change the landscape in a relatively short time. However, do you know how snow and hail are formed ? Do you know what differentiates one from the other? If you want to know what the difference is and what is the formation process of each of these atmospheric phenomena, keep reading AgroCorrn, because in this article we will tell you everything. Take note!
What is snow and how is it formed?
Snow is one of the most common weather phenomena , but not everyone knows how it forms. In order for snow to form, it is necessary for two fundamental circumstances to occur, which are rain clouds and cold temperatures . Clouds are made up of water value and, when this vapor cools, it falls to the ground in the form of liquid water or solid water under the effect of gravity.
When the temperature is high, the precipitation will be in the form of rain, while in the case that the temperatures are 0ºC or less , the water vapor will transform into small crystals of solid water, which will fall in the form of flakes of snow. The snowflakes will be the result that, during the descent of the snow crystals, one and the other collide with each other, which will cause many of them to come together to form larger snowflakes, although, due to their low density, they are It will be a slow descent, so that the snow will never turn into ice balls.
What is hail and how is it formed?
The process through which hail is formed is similar to that of snow, since it requires clouds and low temperatures but, in this case, the result will be hail, which is nothing more than balls of totally compact ice that they fall from the clouds to the ground by the effect of gravity, in the same way that happens with rain or snow.
However, despite these similarities, for hail to form, it is necessary that a number of different conditions exist for snow. First, you have to take into account the type of cloud. Clouds that form snow tend to be horizontal, that is, they spread out in the sky as if they were a layer that covers the ground many kilometers high. On the contrary, for hail to form, the most common clouds that will be necessary for this phenomenon to take place will be vertical clouds , that is, they will be higher than they are wide.
Second, when these vertical clouds are joined by rising winds, conditions are created for hail to occur. When this happens, the water particles in the cloud crystallize and tend to fall under the effect of gravity just like snow. However, due to the ascending winds and the fact that the cloud has more water in its upper part, given its vertical shape, these ice crystals rise back to the cloud after having started their descent, which makes combine with liquid water and steam, increasing their density and giving rise to small balls of ice.
This phenomenon of descent and ascent of the ice can occur for several times until, finally, the weight of the ice balls is too much, even for the upward winds to cope with them, causing them to fall to the ground by effect of gravity, thus giving rise to hail.
The impact of the effects of snow and hail
Another difference between snow and hail are the effects they have on crops and in any area where it falls in general. It must be taken into account that snow, due to its density, falls slowly although it can be very abundant. This means that the snow does not generate great damage in the area it affects. In addition, because snow accumulates in areas with low temperatures, such as the summits of the mountains, they constitute a reserve of fresh water that will be released slowly with the thaw in spring, serving as a water supply for rivers and rivers. aquifers during the hottest months.
On the contrary, hail has very negative effects , especially the larger it is. Because hail is made up of very dense pieces of ice, they fall to the ground with great force, causing material damage both in cities and in natural environments. In fact, in the case of crops, the impact of hail is very harmful, since it can destroy crops in a very short period of time and, furthermore, unlike snow, it is not a water that can be useful for irrigation, so it has many drawbacks and no advantages for the agricultural sector.