(WBBM Newsradio) — A Northern Illinois University professor has come up with a way to predict — weeks ahead of time — when and where hail might fall.
WBBM first talked to NIU Assistant Professor Victor Gensini a couple of years ago, after he developed a way to determine when and where tornadoes were likely to strike.READ MORE: Sources: CPD Officer Shoots Person Along Eisenhower Expressway In West Suburbs; Police Were Pursuing Person Of Interest In Shooting That Killed 7-Year-Old Jaslyn Adams
“And then we were kind of thinking,” he says. “If it works for tornadoes, what else happens when there’s tornadoes?
“Aha — a lightbulb — there’s hail.”READ MORE: State Rep. LaShawn Ford Introduces Legislation To Increase Equity In Illinois Cannabis Industry
Gensini looks at the jet stream over the Pacific. If it’s fast and elongated east to west it is more likely to turn into severe weather two to four weeks later as it enters the U.S.
“And actually, from a societal perspective, the hail piece is more important because hail causes much more economic loss every year than tornadoes do,” he says.MORE NEWS: Remembering Hazel Johnson, Chicago’s ‘Mother Of Environmental Justice,’ On Earth Day 10 Years After Her Passing
Gensini says later on, this kind of long-range forecasting would be useful — especially, say, for the insurance industry.