Make Your Own Hailstone
Now we know that hail is nothing more than a ball of ice but if you were able to cut a hail stone in half it would look similar to tree rings! This experiment shows how.
- Children's clay (preferably different colors--I'm thinking play-doh here)
- Dental floss
1. Take a piece of the clay and roll it into a ball about the size of a jelly bean.
2. Take another piece of clay (different color but same amount as above) and flatten it out. Then take that clay and wrap it around the little ball of clay--you should now have a larger sized ball of clay.
3. Keep doing this with as many different colors of clay you have---or stop when the ball is about the size of a golf ball.
4. Now use the dental floss and cut the ball in half----see all the different layers?! That's what a hailstone would look like if you cut it in half. But how?
Clouds are formed by rising air (more on that in another lesson!). In a cloud, little raindrops get pushed to the top of the cloud by that rising air. When those rain drops reach the top of the cloud, which is below 32, those raindrops will freeze.
Those little balls of ice fall down through the cloud and collect more raindrops, then get pushed back to the top of the cloud by that rising air, and freeze again. This up and down process will create a larger hailstone. When that rising air can no longer hold that hailstone in the cloud---it falls to the ground!
Remember---the larger the hailstone the stronger the storm is so stay inside away from that hail!