Why is it Called Gorilla Hail? Nature's Giant Ice Balls

In the realm of extreme weather phenomena, "gorilla hail" stands out as a jaw-dropping spectacle of nature's power. This term refers to extraordinarily large hailstones that can wreak havoc during severe thunderstorms. Let's delve into what gorilla hail is, why it forms, and its impact on our environment.

What is Gorilla Hail? 

Gorilla hail refers to hailstones that are significantly larger than the average hailstone size. While typical hailstones are pea-sized or marble-sized, gorilla hailstones can be as large as baseballs or even softballs, measuring over 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter. These gigantic ice balls are a result of powerful updrafts within thunderstorms, which keep hailstones suspended and growing in size as they collide with supercooled water droplets.

Formation of Gorilla Hail

The process of gorilla hail formation starts when strong updrafts in thunderstorms carry raindrops into extremely cold regions of the atmosphere, where temperatures are below freezing. The raindrops freeze into small ice pellets, which act as nuclei for further growth. As these ice pellets get caught in the updrafts and descend back into the storm, they accumulate layers of supercooled water, growing larger with each cycle. The stronger the updrafts, the larger the hailstones can grow, eventually becoming gorilla hail.

Characteristics and Impact

Gorilla hailstones are not merely curiosities; they pose serious risks and can cause substantial damage. When these massive ice balls plummet to the ground at high speeds, they can shatter windows, dent vehicles, damage roofs, and injure animals or people caught outside. Agricultural areas can suffer devastating losses, with crops being destroyed in moments.

The impact of gorilla hail is not limited to physical damage. These extreme weather events can also disrupt daily life, causing power outages, traffic accidents, and significant economic losses.

Understanding and Preparation

Understanding the phenomenon of gorilla hail is crucial for weather forecasting and disaster preparedness. Meteorologists use advanced radar systems to detect hailstorms and predict the likelihood of gorilla hail formation. When severe weather warnings are issued, it's essential to take precautions such as seeking shelter indoors, protecting vehicles under cover, and securing loose objects outdoors.


Gorilla hail is a remarkable yet dangerous aspect of severe thunderstorms. Its ability to produce colossal ice balls underscores the awe-inspiring power of nature. By understanding how gorilla hail forms and its potential impact, we can better prepare for and mitigate the risks associated with these extreme weather events. Stay informed, stay safe, and be weather-ready when nature unleashes its fury in the form of gorilla hail.

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