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hail

Hailstorm Demonstration

Years of planning and conducting field and smaller laboratory work paid off as scientists and technicians were able to meticulously recreate the first-ever, full-scale hailstorm in the IBHS Research Center’s large test chamber.

Hail cannons are shown being installed on the catwalk at the IBHS Research Center.

Demo Specs

Researchers created more than 9,000 hailstones that were used in the demonstration and were able to closely mimic hail conditions present in a typical supercell thunderstorm that produces hail.

From making the hailstones to building the delivery system for the hailstones, IBHS engineers have been working since 2010 to develop the test protocol and customized equipment that now enables scientists to conduct full-scale hail testing. It has been an arduous task with many challenges, and IBHS staff is very pleased the threshold has been crossed to conduct this unique research, which will ultimately lead to safer, stronger communities.

Demo Highlights

  • IBHS was able to closely mimic hail conditions present in a typical supercell thunderstorm that produces hail.
  • The majority of hailstone impacts were on the roofing system; this is very typical of what IBHS researchers have seen when conducting post-hailstorm damage investigations in the field and in numerous claims studies.
  • The hail delivery system developed by IBHS successfully propelled hailstones at the correct terminal velocity for each size of hailstone.
  • Post-test damage surveys revealed roof damage patterns consistent with what IBHS researchers documented in the field following recent hailstorms in Colorado and Texas.

Photos