All Hail the Hail!

Hail

The sky was so gloomy looking that day and it was only 4 PM in the afternoon. Yet it looked like 8 PM. Everyone at my work seemed worried and anxious to leave before the storm hit. According to the news a severe thunderstorm was approaching our area. The reason everyone was so worried was because the storm wasn’t bringing just rain, or wind, or thunder – it was also bringing hail.

In case you don’t know, hail is a form of moisture that falls from the sky as pellets of ice. These pellets can be as small as lentils or as large as grapefruits. Wow! A hailstone the size of a grapefruit could kill someone instantly if it hit him on the head. Of course, hail that big is extremely rare. During hailstorms all the hailstones are pretty much of a uniform size.

As soon as the clock struck 4:30 PM everyone in my department left as fast as they could they didn’t waste any time. They wanted to be in the safety of their homes before the hail started to come down. Then I saw our blue car approaching. RT had come early to pick me up to go home. I was glad. And I was also glad because our house is only 10 minutes drive from my work. So I knew we would be home shortly. I felt sorry for the ones who had to drive far.

When we got home, we turned on the TV news to see the latest updates on the storm. The storm came our way around 6 PM that night. We were fortunate we didn’t get any hail from the storm. The hail was concentrated in some areas of South Jersey, Delaware and parts of Philadelphia. We were relieved because we didn’t know where we could hide our car to protect it from the hail. We don’t have a garage.

While we were engrossed watching the news on TV, I received text messages from one of my friends. She lives in South Jersey and texted me about her experiences with the hail.   She said,

“I was outside doing some work in our yard. Then I felt something hit me. At first I thought that someone threw a small stone at me. I looked around to see if somebody else was there with me but I didn’t see anybody. Then I continued on with what I was doing. Then finally the hail started to come down fast. I ran inside the house for cover. It didn’t dawn on me what it was until I was inside. When I realized it was hail I grabbed my iphone and took some pictures and even a video.”

She was able to catch the hail in action. I had never seen hail this big. Back in 2009, I’d been in a hailstorm but the hailstones then were nothing compared to the ones she encountered.

The damage from the recent storm was really something. For example we saw on the news that a car dealership had all the cars on its lot sustain cracked windshields. Also, some people were hit on head with the fast falling hail.

My friend Sarah was fortunate that her car didn’t get any damage from the hail. She was so thankful to God for this. The tree that her car was parked under protected it. Many of tree’s leaves were knocked down by the hail.

hailphoto2

(Pictures and video are  not mine courtesy of my friend Sarah)

Coming from a different country such as the Philippines, hail was foreign to me. Although, I’d read stories in the Bible where God used large hailstones to kill the enemies of the Israelites, like my friend Sarah, I’d never seen hailstones before coming to the United States. And I’d never heard that hail still existed to this day.

After seeing Sarah’s video it made me curious how hail forms. So I went to Google and found this.

“Hail forms as a result of the strong updrafts common in severe weather systems. When a strong convective cell forms, warm air rises and cool air sinks. If there is a sufficient amount of supercooled water, accumulation of ice can begin in the clouds. Rising air will often reach a point where the temperature in the atmosphere is below freezing. Hence, ice will form. The ice is suspended in the air by the strong updrafts and will later fall back down. This process will occur over and over adding layer upon layer to the hailstone (If you cut a hailstone in half, you would see alternating concentric layers inside it). As the hail falls, it may melt to varying degrees only to be picked up again and carried high into the atmosphere to re-freeze. Therefore, very large hailstones form with many repeated cycles.” – from About.com weather

In the Bible there are 14 verses that mention hail or hailstones. Some of them can be found in the book of Joshua and the book of Job.

As they fled from before Israel, while they were at the descent of Beth-horon, the LORD threw large stones from heaven on them as far as Azekah, and they died; there were more who died from the hailstones than those whom the sons of Israel killed with the sword. Joshua 10:11

“Have you entered the storehouses of the snow, Or have you seen the storehouses of the hail, Which I have reserved for the time of distress, For the day of war and battle? Job 38:22-23

For me reading about the hail in the Bible and seeing it for real enthralled me. And this proves only one thing that the Bible is true and hail is one of the many proofs.

 

 

 

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