Aircraft Penetrations of Swiss Hailstorms -- An Update

Dennis J Musil, Paul L Smith


An armored T-28 aircraft was used to make observations of the interiors of Swiss hailstorms during the summers of 1982 and 1983. The main objective was to determine the presence of any accumulations of supercooled raindrops in the so-called "Big Drop Zone." The principal finding was that extremely few supercooled raindrops were found in the Swiss storms. On the other hand, concentrations of ice particles, principally in the form of graupel, were of the order of 10^3-10^5 m^-3. Since there were so few supercooled raindrops, attempts to glaciate them by seeding in order to reduce the potential for hail do not appear to be appropriate. The observations strongly suggest that an ice process is the predominant precipitation mechanism.

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