Germy Weather

Bacteria high in the sky could be causing rain, snow and hail

By Stephen Ornes, 14:09 PM June 15, 2011

In June 2010, a powerful hailstorm pummeled the city of Bozeman, Mont. The hailstones were as large as golf balls, and they inspired a local scientist to peek inside and look for bacteria.

Last June, a hailstorm blasted Bozeman, Mont., sending most people running for cover. Emily Krieger, who edits Science News for Kids, happened to be visiting from Seattle. She watched from a coffee shop as giant balls of hail fell fast from the sky — many of them making small dents in her car.

“It was WICKED!” she says. “It sounded like thousands of baseballs were being thrown — very hard — onto the roof. Car alarms went off, windows shattered, shingles were knocked off roofs.”

The storm...

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