IBHS is conducting a multi-year, major field research effort to study hailstorms with the goal of reducing property losses, and improving weather forecast models and radar detection of hail. As part of this effort, IBHS is studying hailstorms in the Central Plains region in an attempt to better understand the characteristics of damaging hail, which depends on size, shape, density and hardness of hailstones.
This initiative began in 2012, when IBHS conducted a pilot study to determine the feasibility of collecting measurements of real hailstones; that study was the first known attempt to measure the hardness or compressive strength of natural hailstones.
To arrange an interview with IBHS, contact Brent Henzi at 850-879-0156, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Objectives of the field study include:
- Deploying a ruggedized, unmanned disdrometer (impact probe) to measure the hail size distribution and impact energy of falling hailstones.
- Expanding 3D laser scanning of hailstones to collect 3D digital models of hail used to create molds and artificial stones at the IBHS Research Center. 3D scans will also help determine how hailstone strength and density are related.
- Continuing collaboration with Penn State University to improve radar detection of hail, and initiating a new collaboration with the University of Oklahoma using mobile Doppler radars.
- Evaluating the performance of new, experimental dual-polarization radar hail size algorithms.
- Validating storm-scale hail simulation models.
The study is led by IBHS Lead Research Meteorologist Dr. Ian Giammanco, who serves as field coordinator for the project, and IBHS Lead Research Engineer Dr. Tanya Brown, a meteorologist who serves as logistics coordinator. Penn State Assistant Professor of Meteorology, Dr. Matt Kumjian, also collaborates with IBHS to improve hail detection, forecasting, and modeling capabilities.
The field study provides valuable data and insights for shaping ongoing work at the IBHS Research Center. IBHS evaluates the characteristics of natural hailstones in order to accurately manufacture artificial hailstones at the IBHS Research Center. Previous IBHS field study data were used when IBHS recreated a full-scale indoor hailstorm at the IBHS Research Center in February 2013.
2018 IBHS Hail Field Study Summary
IBHS Hail Field Study – Cullman, AL Record Hailstone
The Weather Channel – 2017 IBHS Hail Field Study
Part 1 – IBHS Hail Field Study Impact Disdrometer Overview (Facebook LIVE)
Part 2 – IBHS Hail Field Study Impact Disdrometer Overview (Facebook LIVE)
Part 3 – IBHS Hail Field Study Impact Disdrometer Overview (Facebook LIVE)
Tools of the IBHS Hail Field Study (Facebook LIVE)
IBHS Hail Study Hailstone Collection (2016)
IBHS Hail Field Project Highlights – 2014
IBHS Hail Field Project Highlights – 2013
Calibrating Hail Impact Disdrometers
Oklahoma – Part 1
Oklahoma – Part 2
Research Reports & Summaries
The Impact of Vertical Wind Shear on Hail Growth in Simulated Supercell Storms
Research to Operations: A Hail Detection Network
2014 IBHS Hail Field Research Summary
2013 IBHS Hail Field Research Summary
2012 IBHS Hail Field Research Summary
Improving the Science of Hail Verification
Every spring, IBHS researchers traverse the plains to learn more about the dynamics of hail. In May, 2016, we responded to a severe hailstorm in Dalhart, TX. As soon as it was safe to do so, IBHS researchers fanned out across the area to collect, analyze and scan hailstones. We then collaborated with CoreLogic which used IBHS’ ground truth data to test and verify the hail algorithm CoreLogic developed to validate specific weather events. Until recently, insurers would wait for policyholders to notify them of damage after a hailstorm, this delay impedes the insurance process. Innovations developed by CoreLogic in hail verification allows insurers to prioritize and validate claims and respond to events strategically. IBHS is proud to be working with CoreLogic and looks forward to continuing to provide data as we develop a better understanding of hail and look for ways to reduce property losses.
Want to learn more? Check out the joint IBHS/CoreLogic report Improving the Science of Hail Verification at http://bit.ly/2n7yJNv
American Meteorological Society Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology
Using 3D Laser Scanning Technology to Create Digital Models of Hailstones (July 2017 Bulletin)
Evaluating the Hardness Characteristics of Hail through Compressive Strength Measurements
Evaluating Hail Damage Using Property Insurance Claims Data