By Tori Mason

BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4)– Hail storms are responsible for more than $10 billion in damage annually nationwide. A large percent of that damage reported so far this year is from Colorado.

It doesn’t matter which sporting equipment used to describe it; golf ball, tennis ball and softball-sized hail have caused some damaging impacts across the Front Range.

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Scientists predict the severe storms are only getting worse.

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Climate change in hail-prone areas is a huge threat to more than the exteriors of vehicles and buildings.

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As last week’s hail storm in Colorado Springs showed, hail is a significant danger to public and animal safety. Five animals died and several visitors to Cheyenne Mountain Zoo were injured as a result of the devastating hail storm.

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Scientists, insurance providers, and hail experts from around the country met at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder Tuesday morning. They discussed evolving weather patterns and how to better protect society at the North American Workshop on Hail and Hailstorms.

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Experts say hail isn’t taken as seriously as it should be, and they want that to change that before it’s too late.

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While there were a large number of research scientists at this workshop, local meteorologists also attended.

Everything that’s being discussed will help them improve forecasts when it comes to severe weather that could lead to more accurate warnings.

Tori Mason is an award-winning reporter for CBS4 This Morning. Follow her on Twitter @ToriMasonTV.

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