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Severe weather season: How hail forms

Hail season in Colorado
Hail season in Colorado 02:49

Severe weather season is rapidly approaching in Colorado. Of the many types of severe weather, hail is the most frequent. It can also be very costly.

Learn more about tornadoes.

Colorado averages $1,987.64 per 100 residents in annual property damage from hail, the second highest in the United States behind Texas. 


Hail sizes can range from a pea (¼") all the way up to a grapefruit (4.5"). Severe hail is defined as quarter-sized (1") or larger. 


The largest hailstone (below) in Colorado was 4.83" in diameter in 2019 in Yuma County. While hail this large is not common, it still occurs from time to time, so it is important to heed all watches and warnings.  


If you are caught in a hailstorm while driving, you should pull over immediately and protect yourself. This could include lying on the floor or reclining in your seat and facing away from any glass. If you are unable to safely pull your car over you should turn on the vehicle's low beams, and hazards and reduce your speed.

CBS Colorado's First Alert Meteorologist Joe Ruch discusses how hail forms and additional information in the video above. 

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