Coloured image of a giant hailstone

Coloured image of a giant hailstone

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Credit: NCAR/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Hailstone. Coloured image of a giant, irregularly- shaped hailstone. Hailstones are lumps of ice formed in storm clouds (cumulonimbus) when water droplets remain fluid after their temperature has fallen below freezing point. This super-cooled water circulates in the updraughts within the cloud, forming ice on contact with dust particles in the air. The hailstones grow larger as they circulate around the cloud until they are either too heavy for the cloud to support or are thrown out of the updraught area. Large hailstones like this one (approximately 15 centimetres across) can damage property and injure people and livestock when they fall.

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Keywords: climate, cumulonimbus product, giant, hailston, hailstone, ice, meteorology, weather

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