Ben asked: What is the difference between snow and hail, and why room the inhabitants of Jerusalem lucky enough to get snow, if in Tel Aviv they get hail?

Hello Ben,

The difference between snow and also hail is in the wind and temperature the the air once the snowflake or hail stone fall come the ground.

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Both hail and snow start their trip in the exact same form, however something wake up on the way down to develop the difference in between them. Eye is produced when a droplet of water is captured on a dust particle. Since the air in ~ a high level is really cold, the droplet immediately freezes and starts to crystalize. The crystal forms in the form of a hexagon and develops symmetrically ~ above its 6 vertices. The specific shape that will develop into depends on humidity, temperature and on the winds that lug the snowflake progressively to the ground.  

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Image the a snowflake under one electron microscopic lense | photo by: Dcoetzee, Wikipedia

Hail additionally begins together a frozen droplet the water, and also sometimes even as a snowflake. However instead the falling straight down, the wind blows it greater causing it come accumulate additional droplets the freeze roughly it. The bump of ice the is created is heavier and also falls under faster, and then the wind strikes it earlier up again. This causes it to gain an ext and more ice layers until lastly it is too heavy to rise again, and also it drops to the ground.

A bump of hail can reach the size of a pea, however under the suitable conditions, with strong enough winds advertise it up, it have the right to become vast and create an ice ball of 20cm in diameter and weighing virtually a kilogram (although this is reasonably rare). The falling and rising cycles deserve to be identified in the ice round according to its layers, simply as in rings of a tree stems or one onion. Therefore snow have the right to actually form in lower places such together Tel Aviv – it just defrosts on its means to the ground. While in higher areas whereby the temperature is lower, snow has actually a better chance of getting to the floor while tho frozen. In contrast, hail is too huge and heavy to defrost during its fall, and therefore the appears likewise in reduced areas. 


It shows up that part bacteria deserve to serve as nuclei for snowflakes. This bacteria have special proteins in their membranes, which allow them to record the water droplet and also serve together an initial cell core that permits the snowflake to be created around them. This bacteria end up being the crystalizing cell nucleus of the snowflake and also they actually take advantage of it together a long-distance dispersing mechanism.

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Flower pollen usage a comparable mechanism together well. A study from 2010 revealed the snowflakes that landed in the west the the USA included particles originating from the Sahara desert and also Saudi Arabia. These bacteria or pollen soared on the wind in ~ one side of the world, brought at high layers of the atmosphere, then recorded in water droplets, and finally fell as snow or hail.

Do you want to know why does the eye defrost first under trees?Boomerang – Question back at YouWhy go snow additionally fall in low areas specifically in very southern or very northern areas?