Black Hills hailstorms, why our location is so favorable

By  | 

Hailstorms are all to frequent here in the Black Hills, and as we move into the month of May, that means greater chances for severe storms capable of producing hail.

The Black Hills area is one of the most common places for hailstorms in the entire country. A favorable atmospheric setup is needed for these destructive storms. Geographic location and the Black Hills themselves act to enhance storms that form across the area.

Susan Sanders from the National Weather Service says, "Across the northern plains, we have the collision of cold air and warm air in the summer time which contributes to some pretty strong updrafts in storms. So they can get very strong, and having this strong vertical currents will support larger hail. Then as the storms hit the Black Hills, those updrafts get even stronger which means that larger hail can grow inside the storms, and storms over the Black Hills, when the hail starts falling, they're closer to the ground so the hail doesn't melt as much."

On average, the Black Hills receives around a half dozen hailstorms per year.