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Downward Trend in the Frequency of Destructive Hailstorms and Maximum Hailstone Size in England and Wales

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Document pages: 14 pages

Abstract: By their definition, destructive hailstorms cause a great deal of damage to property and have been known to be fatal to humans. At present the long term changes in the frequency of these storms are unknown. Records of destructive hailstorms from many different sources in England and Wales go back for several centuries. Recently discovered records of over 30 destructive hailstorms have allowed a better description of hailstorm history since 1780. The data were grouped into 30, 40, and 50 year non-overlapping time periods in relation to time. Increases in their frequency in the 17th and 18th centuries were probably due to an increase in population and better recording. Since 1900 the frequency has significantly declined so that in the present 50 year time period only 22 have been recorded as compared with an average of 49 in both halves of the 19th century. The decline in frequency may be partly due to the big increase in particulate matter from aviation, which leads to a much higher concentration of ice and cloud condensation nuclei, resulting in fewer destructive hailstorms.

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