Why Are Hailstorms So Severe in the Greater Denver Area?


Colorado is one of the most hail prone states in the United States. Hailstorms occur more frequently on the leeward (east) side of the Rocky Mountains than anywhere else on the North American Continent. Hail Season in the Denver, Colorado area runs from April 15 until September, when potent thunderstorms, including supercell thunderstorms, can develop. Hailstones can be a large as 4 inches or more in diameter. Hail is frequently associated with strong winds. The coupling of large hail and strong winds brings tremendous destructive power. Cars, trucks, and other vehicles are often pelted and can be severely damaged.

Why Denver and the Front Range Get Hailstorms

Colorado sits in what the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) calls “Hail Alley. In the spring and summer, humid air flowing north from the Gulf of Mexico encounters the Rocky Mountains, where drier air awaits. The meeting of these two air masses causes instability, and strong storms frequently develop. In some of the towering stormclouds, liquid rain is jetted upward, cools, and form hail, which then falls to the ground.

In addition, there is the altitude effect. Because Denver is mile high, hail doesn’t always have the ability to melt before it hits the ground. Other, lower areas get hailstorms, but they tend to be less severe. The hail that falls in the Front Range traves faster than lower areas as well, increasing its destructive force.

Steps You Can Take To Avoid Hail Problems

There are certainly a number of precautionary steps that you can take to mitigate a problem with hailstones impacting your vehicle. Some of these include:

  • Keep an eye on the weather forecast, in the morning and periodically throughout the day during hail season
  • If a severe storm is coming, watch where you park your vehicle, preferably under protective covering
  • Stay off the road during severe thunderstorms if at all possible; even if there is no hail, severe storms  can be dangerous

What To Do When Your Car Is Hail-Pelted

It’s amazing how badly hailstone impacts can damage a car or truck. If you are looking for hail storm vehicle repair Denver CO, you’ll find a number of firms from which you can choose. Make sure you pick one that’s has been serving the area for many years and understand how to repair hail damage. You’ll definitely want to avoid any fly-by-night operation set up as a one-man show in a parking lot somewhere.