IBHS 2013 Hail Field Study
IBHS Hail Field Study
IBHS Hailstorm Demonstration
IBHS Hail Resources
IBHS Hail Field Study
The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) is currently in the midst of continuing a major multi-faceted research effort to study hailstorms with the goal of reducing property losses. As part of this effort, IBHS is studying hailstorms in the Central Plains region in an attempt to better understand the characteristics of damaging hail, which depends on size, density and hardness of hailstones.
Objectives of the field study include:
quantify natural hailstone hardness, by evaluating the compressive force required to fracture a hailstone;
deploy a ruggedized, unmanned camera probe to capture high-definition video of hail falling within storms to study hailstone trajectories and spatial coverage; and
examine radar and environmental data to develop relationships between those data fields and the characteristics of fallen hailstones.
The study is led by IBHS Research Scientist Dr. Ian Giammanco, a meteorologist who serves as field coordinator for the project, and IBHS Research Engineer Dr. Tanya Brown, a meteorologist who serves as logistics coordinator.
The field study will provide valuable data and insights for shaping ongoing work at the IBHS Research Center. IBHS will evaluate the hardness and density of natural hailstones in order to accurately manufacture artificial hailstones at the IBHS Research Center. Previous IBHS field study data were used when the Institute recreated a full-scale indoor hailstorm at the IBHS Research Center in February 2013. As IBHS collects additional data from natural hailstorms, this information will enable IBHS engineers to continue to appropriately recreate and analyze the impact of hail on buildings and specimens tested at the IBHS Research Center.
Breakdown of Teams
Research Team 1:
Dr. Ian Giammanco – team leader and field coordinator
Hank Pogorzelski – team investigator
Eddie Cranford – team investigator
Camera Probe Team:
Scott Fowler – team leader
Brent Henzi – team investigator
Where is the IBHS Research Team?
Where the Team Has Been
The team will gather in Oklahoma City, OK on Thursday to begin the second field study of the year.
Hail Field Research – Storm Time Lapse – Day 1 from IBHS on Vimeo.
Research team members are using a caliper to measure the size of each hailstone.
Compressive Strength Device
The compressive strength of each hailstone collected are being measured using the device shown above. The custom-designed instrument features a clamping handle in which a hailstone can be compressed incrementally until the point at which it fractures. The compressive strength device is connected to a laptop where researchers can view and save the data collected from each hailstone during the study. These data were later used to inform laboratory hailstone research at the IBHS Research Center.
For the first time, IBHS is deploying a ruggedized, unmanned camera probe to capture high-definition video of hail falling within storms. The footage captured by the camera probe will be used to study hailstone trajectories and spatial coverage during a hailstorm.
Another view of the field probe.
To arrange an interview with IBHS, contact Brent Henzi at 813-675-1065, email@example.com.
Meet the Research Team
Ian Giammanco, Ph.D.
Research Scientist, IBHS Research Center
Dr. Ian Giammanco joined IBHS in 2012 as a Research Scientist at the Research Center. His responsibilities include providing leadership in instrumentation design and data collection, wind-flow characterization and multi-hazard testing including hail and wildfire, as well as field operations. Dr. Giammanco previously served as a consulting scientist for IBHS while working on the design and construction of the ember generation capabilities, the radiant panel, the IBHS weather observing station, and hail delivery capabilities of the Research Center. He has nearly a decade of meteorological field research experience, serving as the field coordinator for the Texas Tech University Hurricane Research Team for many years, and participating on numerous severe thunderstorm and tornado research projects, including VORTEX 2. His research interests include boundary layer wind flow characteristics in a variety of conditions, tropical cyclones, as well as measurement and instrumentation systems. He is also a technician-licensed amateur (HAM) radio operator, call letters W5WWX.
Dr. Giammanco received a bachelor’s degree in Atmospheric Science from the University of Louisiana at Monroe in 2002, where he was also a pitcher for their NCAA baseball team. He also holds a masters degree in Atmospheric Science, as well as a Ph.D. in Wind Science and Engineering both from Texas Tech University. During his doctoral studies he was appointed as a National Science Foundation – Integrative Graduate Education Training Fellow, and served as an intern at NOAA’s Hurricane Research Division in Miami. He is currently appointed as a Faculty Associate at Texas Tech University where he will continue to support the operations of the Texas Tech University Hurricane Research Team’s Hurricanes at Landfall Project.
IBHS Team Members
Graphic Technician, IBHS Research Center
Scott Fowler joined IBHS in 2011, as a graphic technician. Scott works at the Research Center in South Carolina and assists with various graphic assignments. He formerly worked as photography editor for the University of South Carolina student newspaper The Daily Gamecock.
Scott recently graduated from the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism and mass communications. He majored in visual communications and received a minor in criminal justice.
Public Affairs Manager
Brent Henzi joined IBHS in 2011, as a communications associate. Prior to joining IBHS, Brent worked as a reporter for the online publication the Florida Tribune, where he covered the state Legislature.
Brent graduated from the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communications with a Bachelors of Science degree. He has also formerly worked for a daily newspaper and a magazine in Oregon.
Hank Pogorzelski joined IBHS in 2008, as the organization’s first applied statistician. His responsibilities include planning studies, conducting surveys and compiling data relating to property losses and injuries for analysis.
Mr. Pogorzelski is also responsible for preparing written reports and graphics to communicate findings. His prior experience includes seven years with a large distributor of computer products and services. He earned a master’s of arts in economics and a bachelor’s in international relations, both from the University of South Florida.
2012 IBHS Hail Field Research
The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) is undertaking a major multi-faceted research effort to study hailstorms with the goal of reducing property losses. As part of this effort, IBHS researchers are evaluating current impact testing standards for roofing products, will be developing improvements to the test standards if warranted, and will be expanding testing to include other kinds of building materials. In addition, the research program seeks to understand modes and severity of damage caused by hail impacts of stones with varying size, density, and hardness; to evaluate how aging and maintenance affect potential damage from hailstorms, and to develop and test repair and replace methodologies.
A foundational element of this research effort is the characterization of damaging hail, which depends on size, density and hardness of hailstones. The field project conducted during the late spring of 2012 described in this summary provides the first field data on the hardness of hailstones, which is measured as the compressive force required to fracture an individual hailstone.
IBHS Hailstorm Demonstration
On February 20, 2013, IBHS took a great stride forward in their unique, multi-faceted hail research program. Years of planning and conducting field and smaller laboratory work paid off as scientists and technicians were able to meticulously recreate a full-scale hailstorm in the IBHS Research Center’s large test chamber. IBHS’ current field study will also contribute to studies conducted at the IBHS Research Center.
IBHS Hailstorm from Concept to Reality
Hailstorm Demonstration Highlights
Hail surrounds patio furniture at the IBHS Research Center.
Hail on test specimen’s roof after the demonstration.
Julie Rochman, IBHS president & CEO, holds a couple of hailstones after the demonstration.
Julie Rochman, IBHS president & CEO, talks with the media after the demonstration.
Dr. Tanya Brown, IBHS research engineer, marks hail damage after the demonstration.
Dr. Anne Cope, IBHS vice president of research, loads a hail cannon during the hail demonstration at the IBHS Research Center.
IBHS employees load hailstones into cannons during the demonstration.
IBHS employees load hail cannons during the demonstration at the IBHS Research Center.
No, not the real hailstorm demonstration test specimen, but this cake is close to the real thing.
A view of the crowd surrounding the test specimen after the demonstration was complete.
Hail in the gutter after the demonstration was complete.
Doug Dewey, research administrator at the State Farm Building Technology Research Technology Research and Innovation Laboratory, loads a hail cannon.
IBHS Hail Resources
© 2012 Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety