Hail is a form of solid precipitation. It consists of balls or irregular lumps of ice, each of which is referred to as a hailstone. Unlike graupel, which is made of rime, and ice pellets, which are smaller and translucent, hailstones – on Earth – consist mostly of water ice and measure between 5 and 200 millimetres (and in) in diameter. The METAR reporting code for hail 5 mm or greater is GR, while smaller hailstones and graupel are coded GS.
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Facing ominous skies, Volkswagen was prepared. It wasn't sweating the forecast, which included calls for rain and, perhaps, hail. Instead, it used the impending tempest as an excuse to break out its "weather cannons." The cannons are supposed to protect against loss. But farmers ...