According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, hail damage costs can range in the billions of dollars annually. For instance, several of the United States’ 2017 billion-dollar weather and climate disasters involved severe storms and hail, including the devastating severe storms and hail events that impacted Colorado and the central United States during May 2017.
We will remain temporarily closed as a result of damage from the hail storm. Please stay tuned to our website & Facebook page for updates. pic.twitter.com/L0LTsEgN63
— Colorado Mills (@ColoradoMills) May 10, 2017
This makes it very important to track deep hail events and why the National Weather Service and the University of Colorado have partnered on the Colorado Hail Accumulations from Thunderstorms (CHAT) Project, a project that is sponsored by the National Science Foundation.
The CHAT Project is an effort to better understand and eventually forecast the thunderstorms that produce these events, and the CHAT Project needs the help of the public.
The NWS and University of Colorado have developed a radar-based algorithm that can determine hail depth, and once deep hail is indicated with the algorithm, volunteers would be asked to go out and verify hail depths, along with taking pictures of the hail.
Verification of the NWS/CU hail algorithm could potentially lead to better forecasting of the types of thunderstorms that produce deep hail events and potentially lead to better protections for society from financial losses due to hail.
HOLY HAIL! Fort Collins, CO got with a hail storm on Tuesday.
In the video you can see the hail start to accumulate on the window ledge! pic.twitter.com/HPzrziEtMB
— WeatherNation (@WeatherNation) May 23, 2018
The project runs from May to September, 2018.
If anyone is interested in volunteering for the project, contact Dr. Katja Friedrich at Katja.Friedrich@Colorado.edu. You can also learn more about the CHAT project at http://clouds.colorado.edu/deephail/.
For WeatherNation, I am Meteorologist Marcus Walter.