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19 of the biggest hailstorms that ravaged the US over the years

INSIDER Logo By Sara Kiley Watson of INSIDER | Slide 1 of 20: 
  Hail storms cost the United States billions of
  dollars in damages each year.
  
  Hail is formed by rain
  droplets being swept up into the atmosphere in the middle of
  a storm, then dropped back down when they get too heavy.
  
  The states that are hit most intensely by hail are in the
  middle of the country, including Colorado, Texas, Nebraska, and
  Wyoming.
  
  
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    Insider's homepage for more stories.
  

  While your normal interaction with hail may be seeing
  unbelievable photos of it next to baseballs for comparison, hail
  storms can cost billions of dollars in damages every year.

  The worst year on record for hail damage in the US, 2017,
  
  cost $22 billion in damages.

  Hail
  forms when air from a storm brings rain droplets up into
  extremely chilly areas of the atmosphere. These droplets freeze,
  and the ice chunks grow bigger and heavier as more water droplets
  freeze on their surface. When the hail stones finally get heavy
  enough, they fall to the ground, or onto the hood of your car if
  you're unlucky.

  The majority of hail storms occur along "hail alley" in the US -
  Nebraska, Colorado, and Wyoming. Texas also gets its fair share
  of hail disasters. The Insurance Information Institute reported
  the state
  saw 508 different hail events in 2018, the most of any state
  that year.

  Hail storms can sometimes injure and even kill people. The last
  time someone died from hail alone in
  the US was in 2008. A 1995 hailstorm in Texas injured
  400 people.

  Luckily, 
  hail season is winding down for some of the hotspots across
  the country. Here's a look back at some of the costliest and most
  interesting hailstorms to hit the United States over the past few
  decades.

Hail Storms

While your normal interaction with hail may be seeing unbelievable photos of it next to baseballs for comparison, hail storms can cost billions of dollars in damages every year.

The worst year on record for hail damage in the US, 2017, cost $22 billion in damages.

Hail forms when air from a storm brings rain droplets up into extremely chilly areas of the atmosphere. These droplets freeze, and the ice chunks grow bigger and heavier as more water droplets freeze on their surface. When the hail stones finally get heavy enough, they fall to the ground, or onto the hood of your car if you're unlucky.

The majority of hail storms occur along "hail alley" in the US - Nebraska, Colorado, and Wyoming. Texas also gets its fair share of hail disasters. The Insurance Information Institute reported the state saw 508 different hail events in 2018, the most of any state that year.

Hail storms can sometimes injure and even kill people. The last time someone died from hail alone in the US was in 2008. A 1995 hailstorm in Texas injured 400 people.

Luckily, hail season is winding down for some of the hotspots across the country. Here's a look back at some of the costliest and most interesting hailstorms to hit the United States over the past few decades.

© AP Photo/David Zalubowski

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