By Spy Uganda
It’s a dark moment in Kanungu after a heavy hailstorm that left Hon Minister for ICT and National Guidance, Chris Baryomunsi’s radio station, Kanungu FM off the air. Also, two primary schools and a Health Center IV were left roofless.
The radio station’s mast was brought down by strong winds and buildings were badly damaged.
According to reports, the affected schools include Makiro Primary school owned by Makiro Parish and Nyakatare Primary School which is owned Church of Uganda Nyakatare.
”The two schools and the Health Center are both found in the centre of Kanungu Town Council and are the pioneer schools in the area that have educated several prominent Ugandans having started in the 1940s,” states local reports.
What’s The Science Behind Hailstorm/Hailstone?
Let’s first differentiate this, a hailstorm is a weather event where strong updrafting winds cause water droplets to freeze into large ice masses (hailstones), which, when they become heavy enough, fall to earth. Individual pieces of ice that fall are hailstones, the weather condition that creates them is a hailstorm.
Hail forms when a thunderstorm updraft lifts a water droplet above the freezing level in the atmosphere. The frozen water droplet then accretes super-cooled water or water vapour, which freezes once it comes in contact with the frozen droplet. This process causes a hailstone to grow.
Hail is often confused with other types of freezing precipitation such as sleet. Sleet is found mainly during the cold season and does not occur in thunderstorms. Hail, in comparison, is only found in thunderstorms where updrafts in the thunderstorm force raindrops further up in the atmosphere to freeze.
In many cases, hailstones have a ringed appearance (left). The rings represent the different environments the hailstone experiences while moving through the updraft. When the hailstone is in an environment where mainly water vapour is present, a white or opaque layer forms. This occurs because small air pockets are trapped between the vapour particles as they freeze. When the hailstone is in an environment of mainly super-cooled water, a clear layer forms as the super-cooled water freezes instantaneously to the hailstone.
Hailstones can also grow by sticking to each other in a process called wet growth. Larger hailstones will ascend through the updraft at a slower speed than smaller hailstones. If the outer coating of these hailstones is not completely frozen, they can collide with each other and stick. If this process happens over and over again, a hailstone can grow very quickly. When these aggregated hailstones hit the ground, they often have a bumpy or spiky appearance (right), as the smaller hailstones that make up the larger hailstone maintain their individual shapes. See you!