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If the Sky (or Even the Air) Turns Greenish, Is There Hail On the Way?

Storm Weather Hits Germany
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The old boy’s had a lot of ‘sayings’back in the old days on the farm.

Now, when I say ‘old boys’, I’m talking about my dad and his farm friends and neighbors. When you’re 10, someone 40 is an ‘old boy’. (Now of course, I can’t even see 40 in the rear view mirror of my memory!).

I can remember looking up at one of those fella’s with eye’s as big as saucer’s when they said ‘Yep, it’s true, after a good rain, if that hot sun comes out you can actually hear the corn grow’. I’d rather not say if it’s true I’d walk out to the field and put my ear up close to that corn stalk. Hey, I got kids and grandkids that laugh at me enough already.

I can remember being on that farm yard and my dad would look up and say ‘Uh oh, there’s hail comin’. How did he know? ‘Well, just look, the air’s turning green’.

And I’d look and…well, the ‘ol boy was right! The air seemed to have a greenish hue to it. The sky had a kind of greenish look to it, too. And sometimes (sometimes!)…he was right. At least, the way I remember it all these decades later.

So were those oldster’s on to something? When things turned a green shade, was there really hail on the horizon?

I decided to spend hours and hours and do some exhaustive research. OK, actually I googled it and ended up on the Weather Channel.

Turns out Pop was right…well, sort of.

According to their sources:

there simply needs to be a strong thunderstorm with a large volume of precipitation and the right alignment of the sun and thunderstorm to turn the sky green. Researchers calculated hail’s contribution to the green color was actually small.

So while it’s not exclusively attributed to hail on the way, there is a little something to what Pop said. He was on the right track, or at least going in the right direction.

The story goes on to say:

If this thunderstorm occurs around sunrise or sunset, when the sun takes on a more red/orange/yellow look thanks to a longer trip of the sun’s rays through the atmosphere, that thunderstorm could instead look more green.

So there you have it. Technically it all has to do with atmosphere and time of day and how long the sun’s rays trip is and…on and on.

But for me, it was the old farm boys that had it (kind of) right. If the air turns green, move the car into the garage.

Oh and by the way…I never did hear that corn grow.

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