Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Saturday night: A memorable hail storm

I was up in Ohio for several days and wasn't here to experience the hail storm last Saturday evening, but it appears as if it produced some unbelievable amounts of hail in Iredell and Rowan counties north of Charlotte.

People told me large hail fell for several minutes in parts of Charlotte, too, but the amount that fell to the north of the city was truly astounding.

I returned home late Sunday afternoon, and someone in our vehicle noticed white patches on the ground near Mooresville.

"Did it snow?" someone asked.

After a few moments, it was obvious we were looking at hail -- still on the ground (in shaded areas), almost 24 hours after it fell.

The hail was so heavy, in fact, that the N.C. Department of Transportation had to send out snowplows to clear the roads in a 5-mile area between Mount Ulla and Woodleaf, in western Rowan County. The hail -- 6 to 8 inches of it -- left some of the roads impassable, according to Dara Demi of the state's DOT.

She said the hail drifted against buildings, measuring more than 4 feet deep in places.

By early Sunday morning, Demi said, the DOT sent crews out in a dump truck and a grader, to push the hail off the roadways.

"They worked for six hours to clear the roads," Demi said.

Snowplows ... clearing hail from a thunderstorm!!!

"Our crews say they have never seen anything like it," Demi added.

Fortunately, it appears as if the hail was not big enough to cause severe damage, like the storms that struck Lancaster, York, Chester, southern Mecklenburg and Cherokee counties early last April. Last Saturday's hail was the product of thunderstorms that pushed high into the atmosphere but had a pocket of very cold air at the middle levels of the atmosphere. That cold air prevented the hail from thawing into large raindrops as it fell.

You can find a page of photos from the storm at a DOT website.

Check www.flickr.com/photos/ncdot/sets/72157629308831512/

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

You went to Ohio voluntarily?

Anonymous said...

For about ten minutes it rained hail hard and furious on Hickory Grove Rd. I heard it on the roof.

Jake Alexander said...

Hail storms can be very destructive and damaging. I have seen them get as big as the size of a softball. After that storm my house and car were in need of hail damage repair.

Chase Howard said...

I remember Pittsburgh getting a massive hail storm, and my car got wrecked! The hail was so big and so damaging that I had to go through extensive hail damage repair in order to get my car up in order again. Hope I never have to deal with something like that ever again!

Lino Kosters said...

Snowplows? It was that thick? At least the chunks weren’t big enough to puncture windows and dent stuff. Or at least I hope it wasn’t. Because if that much hail fell down in baseball-size proportions, it would’ve caused a lot of headaches, literally and property-wise.