DENVER (KDVR) — Severe weather engulfed Colorado this week with rain and thunderstorms, and severe hail as big as golf balls.
While meteorologists measure how much rain or snow falls during a storm, hail is not measured like other precipitation.
There was enough hail Wednesday to cover the ground. In some areas, it was white, like a fresh layer of snow. With so much hail coming down, how does it add to the total moisture that comes from a storm?
Pinpoint Weather Meteorologist Jessica Lebel said the hail contributes to moisture totals, even though it isn’t measured the same.
“Typically we don’t see enough hail to even put a measurement to it. Usually, it’s just a little bit of it on the ground,” she said. “It also melts really quickly, so if there is a lot of rainfall with the hail it’ll melt within 10-20 minutes sometimes, so it’s really hard to put a good measurement on how much hail falls.”
However, with severe hail like what fell on Wednesday, Lebel said it’s a matter of waiting for the hail to melt in order to really see how much fell.
“We’re seeing anywhere from half an inch to an inch and a half of rainfall, with the hail on top of that. It’s probably a few tenths of an inch if we’re seeing enough hail to cover a roadway or something like that,” she said.
It’s hard to put a number on how much the hail would add to the total rainfall, but Lebel said it’s certainly a good amount of moisture, even though it doesn’t get the same precipitation trophy.
“That’s all going to melt eventually, and then that’s all going to just turn into water that’s running into the soil. It’s helping with our drought conditions,” Lebel said.