Australian Weather Calendar: January 2017

January Photograph by Chris Tangey

Chris Tangey doesn't often see hail around Alice Springs in the Northern Territory, but it does occur occasionally. After photographing a storm, he drove into the bush to find this claypan filled with hail.

Hail forms when strong updrafts within a thunderstorm carry water droplets above the freezing level. Temperature decreases as you move higher in the atmosphere. The freezing level is the level in the atmosphere where the temperature is 0 °C. Eventually the frozen water droplets in the cloud become big enough that the updrafts can't support them, gravity takes over and they fall out as hail.

Hail formation d iagram