Hail is solid precipitation of ice particles with a diameter of more than 5 mm.
Hail in Switzerland
Hail always falls in conjunction with thunderstorms and extraordinarily strong convection (vertical wind movements). Promoted by the uplift effects on mountain flanks, hailstones arise particularly frequently on the windward sides of mountain ridges. Thus more hail may be expected in Switzerland during west and north-west airflow in the pre-Alps, in particular in Entlebuch and Emmental. The spatial distribution of the risk of hail is shown here.
Hail causes extensive material damage, particularly in the agricultural sector. The hailstones which shoot down from the sky destroy agricultural crops. Hail damage also affects vehicles and buildings – hailstones often create holes in the roofs of buildings. Goods stored in buildings are then exposed to further hailstones and the strong precipitation that follows them; this can also lead to considerable damage. A list of hail damage statistics for Switzerland can be found here.