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Icy Kumasi: A hailstone joke?


“Look at ice slipping from the skies. God has blessed Ghana. I believe God is washing absent coronavirus from Ghana,” a male is heard shouting in a video clip circulating on the web.

The rainfall in the Ashanti Regional money, Kumasi in the afternoon of April 20, 2020, noticed particles of ice slipping from the sky.

The sight of the 50 pesewa-sized objects fired up lots of who defied the intensity of the rain to select them.

The hailstones or Asukɔtwea, in Twi, arrived down all over again through a downpour in the evening of June 15, just about two months from the very first party.

While some of us utilized, decades back, to hear their strike on rooftops of our residences when it rained, they appeared to have submitted for divorce from the rains on our blind side, for a though now.

What is a hailstone?

Hailstone is a sound element of rainfall.  It appears in the form of massive lump of ice of a variety of styles and measurements shaped in the clouds.

It occurs with lightning routines recognised as thunderstorms. Heavy rains, hail and snow, between many others, are primarily created by thunderstorms. A thunderstorm that makes hailstones and snow are regarded as hailstorm and thundersnow, respectively.

Hailstones picked in Kumasi.

While it will take quite a few parameters to distinguish ice pellets from hailstones, they are diverse from each and every other.

But simply, a diameter of ice pellets should really not exceed 5mm (.5 cm or about .2 inches) and a diameter of the latter really should exceed 5 mm. Just go for your ruler, when your veranda or compound, is invaded by ice pellets or hailstones when it rains, up coming time.

By the way, matter exists in 3 distinct states: good, liquid, and gas or vapour. When heat is applied to sound, at a sure temperature, it turns to liquid, when added heat is utilized, it turns into fuel. For illustration, frozen ice turning into liquid and ultimately into vapor on application of warmth.

In the reverse, when warmth is taken from fuel, it turns into liquid. Additional electricity drawn from the liquid success in solid development. This is how ice is shaped from water vapour.

Ahead of hailstones are formed, some simple situations need to be satisfied: These are intensive updrafts or upward motions, superior atmospheric water material, among the other folks.

The increased you go, the cooler it gets. At better altitude, the temperature is cold.

How hailstones are formed

In the ambiance, there’s water vapor between other particles.

When dry air arrives into get hold of with a thunderstorm, it loses strength by means of a process acknowledged as evaporative cooling, and turns into liquid.

When it cools further more in the circumstance of significant thunderstorm functions, the liquid turns into reliable or ice, decreasing the freezing amount of the thunderstorm clouds, ensuing in significant volumes of hailstone formation.

Hailstone development is therefore more recurrent in temperate regions than the tropics, since temperate regions have a lot cooler atmospheric temperature.

In the tropics, on the other hand, it will take area more frequently at better altitudes, the place atmospheric temperatures are relatively cooler than reduced-land parts. So substantial land spots, like Abetifi, are most likely to have hailstones than low land locations in the Higher East.

In a procedure recognised as accretion, these ice particles are captivated to every other resulting in a establish-up.

“There are some billed particles identified as cloud condensation nuclei which draw in the cloud droplets,” stated Local weather Scientist at KNUST, Prof. Isaac Tetteh.

The mild weight of the initial create-up will help it float in the environment.

Their floatation is thanks to updraft, typically within just a cloud, which tends to aid it, comparable to how a head porter balances pan on the head.

Having said that, even further accumulation tends to make it susceptible to the appeal of gravity and, therefore, falls.

It is like you’re sitting on a plastic chair and two people sign up for you. The chair is no lengthier capable to give the support mainly because the bodyweight on the chair has enhanced. This triggers the chair to break, causing the 3 individuals to drop.

The more robust the vertical winds, the larger the hailstone development as it gets time to accumulate.

Why now?

Ghana’s rainfall sample varies depending on one’s spot inside of the state.

In the southern fifty percent, two rainfall patterns are skilled which is referred to as bimodal i.e. important (March – July) and slight (September -November) seasons.

The northern fifty percent expertise a single year (April – November) referred to as unimodal.  

A 2020 paper titled “Meteorological Analysis of floods in Ghana” in the Journal Developments in Meteorology showed that important amount of dampness inflow intensified thunderstorm routines that triggered floods in Accra on  June, 18, 2018 and June, 28, 2018 in Kumasi.

“From the success, the climatological investigation of rainfall data indicated the improvements in rainfall intensities in which annual day-to-day optimum rainfall confirmed raising pattern about Accra and a decreasing trend more than Kumasi with their 95th percentile thresholds of excessive rainfall as 45.10 mm and 42.16 mm respectively,” direct creator, Samuel Owusu Ansah with the Ghana Meteorological Company, clarifies.

The paper concluded that Accra showed much less times with additional major rainfall, although Kumasi showed more times with fewer large rainfalls.

Weather-and-local climate.com experienced predicted near to 150 mm of rain in March and April, greater in May perhaps and June this calendar year. There was a predicted increase in thunderstorm pursuits, as effectively.

Prof. Tetteh believes so far as the meteorological situations had been contented, hailstone formation was imminent, and it was evident in the recent thunderstorms

Although he does not rule out the role of climate adjust, Prof. Tetteh believes further more research have to be carried out to ascertain the function of weather in the phenomenon.

When you want to put together a soup, you require meat, greens, drinking water and other ingredients. Hence, for hailstones, specific things should be available. But what built the components readily available in the prolonged time period will get even further investigation to unravel and that is wherever local weather improve will come in.

“Though hailstone formation is purely meteorological, we can’t thoroughly just take out local weather change. When it will come to local weather, then we have to glance at a lengthy term. It could be linked to distant factors we are nevertheless to locate out,” Prof. Tetteh famous.

It’s clear, scientists might have to scrutinize barrage of data to get to the bottom of the recent icy rains in Kumasi.

In any circumstance, a unique matter in the previous may have ‘thought’ of ‘homecoming’

Even so, in March, 2018, hailstones were being described to have killed several house animals in the Krachi East Municipality.

Prof. Tetteh is consequently inquiring the ‘hailstone revelers’ to err on the side of caution.

“Though it was interesting to see the hailstones, we have to be cautious with the hazards associated with them.

“Hailstones are injurious when they are falling under gravity and can also induce environmental problems. Bear in mind, they develop to the size of a golfing ball!” he included.

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