Spring is just around the corner and with those warmer temperatures comes hail, and it’s vital that your car, truck, or SUV is protected from auto hail damage. Fixing your vehicle after auto hail damage is possible, but it’s key to protect your car, truck, or SUV from hail damage in the first place. Let’s take a look at why hail is so common in the spring, and what you can do to keep your vehicle safe.
Hail and Spring: What’s The Deal?
While most people associate strong thunderstorms with summer, storms in the spring are actually more likely to produce hail in parts of North America than storms at other times of the year. As temperatures begin to increase, cold air from the northern areas of the country often collides with the warm air from the Gulf of Mexico. This meeting of hot and cold air creates very intense thunderstorms over the central and southern areas of the United States.
According to AccuWeather Storm Warning Meteorologist William Clark, “The main reasons that hail occurs with the greatest frequency during the spring is that the jet stream and energy higher up in the atmosphere is still rather strong as compared to the summer months.”
Rising air in a thunderstorm (called an updraft) can lift water droplets high into the air, reaching a zone where the temperatures are below freezing. Time spent in the freezing zone transforms water droplets from rain into hailstones. Earth’s gravity then pulls the hailstones to Earth.
While severe storms occur in the summer, freezing temperatures occur at lower altitudes than they would during the summer, making it easier for hail to form. This means that hailstones have a shorter way to fall before hitting the ground. The short distance, plus the lower temperatures of spring compared to summer, makes March, April, and May the most intense hailstorm period of the year for many areas of the U.S.
Now that you understand why the spring causes hailstorms, let’s take a look at what you can do to keep your vehicle safe when a storm hits.
Preparing Your Car, Truck, or SUV for Spring
Now that you know hail is just around the corner, what can you do to keep your car, truck, or SUV safe? Let’s take a look at some of the key points in making sure your vehicle is protected before those pesky rocks of ice start falling from the sky.
- The best advice? Keep your car covered as often as possible. If you have a garage or carport, use it. If you don’t have a carport, consider purchasing one before the hail season begins.
- If you’re driving when a hailstorm hits, seek cover for your vehicle as soon as possible. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to get home as quickly as possible – gas stations, parking garages, and office parking lots often have places where you can get your car under cover.
- No covered shelter available? Using blankets or a hail car cover can protect your car. Doing this may not stop all hail damage, but it can minimize the repairs you’ll need after the storm passes. If you’re out and about without blankets, using the floor mats of your car, jackets, or anything else that you have available are all better options than nothing.
- Install a weather app on your phone, and get in the habit of using it. Checking the weather before you leave the house is a smart idea. As the temperatures begin to warm up, keep an eye out for hailstorms, and adjust your plans accordingly.
- Update your insurance policy. If you live in an area where hailstorms are frequent, check in with your insurance company and make sure your car is covered in the event of auto hail damage.
- Most importantly, keep yourself safe. If you’re driving and you can’t get to a safe area, pull over and put your hazard lights on. Cover yourself with a blanket to protect your skin in the event that hail breaks your windows or windshield.
Hail Damage? Call Dent Mavericks in Dallas
Of course, it’s best if you can prevent auto hail damage in the first place, but that isn’t always possible. If your car has been damaged by hail, give Dent Mavericks in Dallas a call. They’ll work to restore your car to peak condition quickly and efficiently.