In a world acutely aware of the changes in weather, protection from that weather has become a growing concern. Hail is one type of weather that can cause a lot of damage to property, especially cars. Hail is the result of warm and cold systems colliding. Protection from hail looks different in warm and cold climates. Failing to have adequate protection from hail storms could have disastrous financial consequences.
What is Hail?
Pictures of the extreme hail have been all over the news in the past couple of years with headlines like “Hailstones the size of oranges rain down on Pescara, Italy” On-Demand News July 11, 2019, or “Record-breaking hailstone in Colorado: ‘big hail like this can easily kill people’” AccuWeather Sep 4, 2019. WeatherSolve Structures is no stranger to hail or hail protection.
Typically hail storms occur from spring to fall when there is enough instability to cause a thunderstorm. The strong warm air (updraft) pushes the rain up and into freezing temperatures. The stronger the updrafts the longer a hailstone typically stays rolling around in the storm cloud collecting ice and becoming larger. In the summer, the freezing level is high and often enough time for the ice to melt again before it reaches the ground. With that being said, a very large hailstone will not melt quickly enough and can still cause damage. In the spring and fall, however, the freezing level is lower allowing the hail to stay formed when it reaches the ground. In line with this, there is a considerable amount more hail in areas higher in elevation as the ground is closer to the freezing level. One very well-known area is “hailstorm alley” that begins in Alberta Canada and follows the Rocky Mountains down to “hail alley” in southeast Wyoming, northeast Colorado, western Nebraska and Kansas. This alley is home to some of the most frequent and most damaging hail storms.
Because hail occurs in the collision between warm and cold, WeatherSolve Structures sees a range in climates requiring hail protection. Not only do we see warm climates with hail but we see cold climates as well.
HAIL IN WARM CLIMATES
A warm climate is typically experienced by clients close to the equator. In these locations, the sun becomes scorching in the summer and hail storms are common from spring to fall.
In warmer climates, our clients typically have two main objectives: hail protection and shade. For these clients, WeatherSolve Structures recommends a structure that stays up all year. This option would provide clients with strong dependable hail protection as well as shade from the canopy in the summer. Shade is essential so that cars do not become so hot that they are unpleasant to get into.
Hail in Cold Climates
Typically, the further away from the equator and/ or the higher in altitude, the colder the climate becomes.
In colder climates such as Colorado, clients are looking for hail protection during hail season and open skies in the winter. A retractable canopy is extremely beneficial in these locations for three main reasons:
- The accumulation of a full winter snow is heavy. For example the design load for mid Kansas is 20 lb/sq ft or over 400 tons to the acre. That is a lot of weight to support and a lot of unnecessary expense to do it.
- Melting snow will drip on people under a canopy- so better to have the canopy retracted when it is not needed and let the snow fall to the ground.
- Make your cars easier to sell. Cars look better if they are lit with natural sunlight so retract the canopy and all those hours of polishing to make your cars sparkle will be rewarded.
Due to WeatherSolve’s superior standards and custom designs, we provide structures that require less poles than our competitors. This makes snow removal easier and frees up precious real-estate for your inventory and snow storage.
CLEAR SKY AND PEACE OF MIND
Insurance providers highly recommend automotive companies to use hail protection canopies like WeatherSolve Structures’. These companies are seeing the benefit immediately both with insurance premiums and a feeling of reassurance. According to Randy Klym, Sales Manager of Country Hills Nissan: “We have experienced over the past years where we did not have appropriate protection, the hail damage was very well in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. He goes on to say: “with hail net protection it will protect our inventory properly which gives us peace of mind and actually keeps our insurance rate at a much more manageable level”.
Whether you are looking for hail protection in warm or cold climates, WeatherSolve has an appropriate canopy for your company. Our flexibility in custom design ensures that you have the right solution at the right price.
Written by Amy Carey