A new study over a 13-year investigation period provides information on the distribution and characteristics of hailstorms in the alpine area and adjacent areas.
Monthly radar-derived hail maps show a distinct seasonal cycle with the maximum for June and July. During late spring, hailstorm activity is more pronounced in areas north of the Alps, whereas in late summer, hail is more frequent in the south. Researchers also found that hail occurs most frequently when winds are from the southwest.
"Hail investigation over the alpine region has a long history, starting in the early '50s in the southern Alps. Today, thanks the data provided by radar networks, we are able to investigate hailstorms with high accuracy and high spatial and temporal resolutions," said Luca Nisi, lead author of the Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meterological Society study. "This knowledge is not only desirable for weather forecasting and climatology, but also for agriculture, economics, and insurance."
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L. Nisi et al. Spatial and temporal distribution of hailstorms in the Alpine region: a long-term, high resolution, radar-based analysis, Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society (2016). DOI: 10.1002/qj.2771