PEORIA, Ill (WMBD) — It’s Severe Weather Preparedness Week in Illinois from Feb. 28-March 4.

One of the many things to protect yourself from is hail.

Hail forms when water droplets in a storm get caught between the updraft and the downdraft. The longer they stay within the cloud, the more the droplets freeze, melt, and refreeze.

The longer that back and forth process goes, the larger the hailstones grow. The National Weather Service will then issue a severe storm warning when hail grows to be larger than an inch in diameter.

The size of hail can range from pea-size at about a fourth of an inch in diameter, up to softball size hail at four inches in diameter.

When hail starts to fall, it can be dangerous and cause damage to property, so when hail is a part of a storm, everyone should head inside and avoid windows.