Increasing major hail losses in the U.S.

Stanley A. Changnon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Property losses due to hailstorms on April 13-14, 2006, resulted in Midwestern property losses that totaled $1.822 billion, an amount considerably more than the previous record high of $1.5 billion set by an April 2001 hail event. The huge April 2006 loss was largely due to multiple severe storms with frequent large hail hitting major metropolitan areas. A highly unstable air mass that developed on April 13 led to several supercell storms and they then produced large hailswaths across portions of Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin during a 30-h period. This storm event and prior recent major hail losses occurred when several major hailstorms developed and then traveled for hundreds of kilometers. The nation's top ten loss events during 1950-2006 reveal a notable temporal increase with most losses in the 1992-2006 period. Causes for the increases could be an increasing frequency of very unstable atmospheric conditions leading to bigger, longer lasting storms, and/or a greatly expanded urban society that has become increasingly vulnerable to hailstorms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-166
Number of pages6
JournalClimatic Change
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 2009


  • ISWS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Atmospheric Science


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