Oh Hail No! After a week of large hail each day, more is expected this week.
Written by Mary Wasson, Meteorologist
Last updated 6/18/2023, 8:41:02 AM
Gorilla size hail has topped the weather headlines this past week. From 5”+ hail across parts of the Lone Star State to possible recording setting hail in Caledonia, MS.
Why all the large hail across the Deep South?
It’s a mixture of a solid jet stream in combination with a flow from an upper-level low over the Great Lakes. You combine that with a ton of moisture in place across the south Meteorologists at the NWS also said lapse rates, or the amount of temperature change through the lower levels of the atmosphere, were off the charts with massive temperature drops, causing more unstable air.
Hail reports over the last week topped 100 almost every day.
Sunday, 6/11 - 221
Monday, 6/12 - 105
Tuesday, 6/13 - 77
Wednesday, 6/14 - 183
Thursday, 6/15 - 201
Friday, 6/16 - 166
Saturday, 6/17 - 118
Unfortunately, we could see more today across Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida.
More hail like the pictures below is possible through Father’s Day and into Monday.
Kerrville, TX - Paige Findlay
Lorena, TX - Russ Widen
Brooksville, MS - WTVA
Sanger, TX - Venessa Henderson
Weskon, KS - Quincy Vagell
The hailstone that fell in Caledonia, MS is a possible record. NWS measured it as 4.88” but several other pictures showed up to 5”. The previous record was 5” which fell on April 10, 1962.
Caught Outside in a Hailstorm
When hail starts to fall while you’re outside, it’s time to take action. Use these tips to get everyone around you to safety as soon as possible:
Get inside. Get inside if you’re just outside your home or near any public building. Even the smallest hail can be dangerous and cause serious injury. Get a roof over your head, and fast.
Avoid sheltering under trees. If you are out and about and don’t have access to shelter, avoid huddling under trees. Most of the time, hail will be accompanied by lightning which can strike trees, break branches and cause electrocution.
Protect your head. Whether you’re making your way to shelter or have to wait out the storm outside, protect your head with anything you can — a sweatshirt, jacket, or backpack can work well if you don’t have anything solid to cover yourself with.
Prepare for bad weather. Before you head out for a day outdoors for an activity with little access to shelter, check the weather. If there’s a chance for severe storms, reconsider and reschedule for a day with a clear forecast.
Driving in a Hailstorm
While it’s better to be in your car than outside during a hailstorm, you still need to take proper precautions to avoid danger during severe weather. Check out these tips for keeping yourself and your passengers safe when you’re driving through hail:
Don’t leave your vehicle. Don't leave your vehicle, no matter how badly you want to make it inside your home, a convenience store, or a shelter. You’ve got a solid roof over your head already, so hunker down and wait it out.
Pull over to a safe location. As you’re driving, the speed of your vehicle and the falling of hail combine to do more damage to your vehicle and its windows, increasing the risk of breaking them. As soon as you can, pull over to the side of the road away from traffic, and turn on your hazard lights.
Situate yourself and your passengers away from windows. While it might seem like a silly tip, moving toward the middle of the vehicle and away from the windows a few more inches can save you from serious injury. If hail does break a window, you’ll want to be as far away as possible.
Cover your head and eyes. Broken glass is very dangerous, so cover your and your passenger's head and eyes with anything you have in the car, like a blanket, coat, or sweatshirt.
Drive to safety and check your vehicle. Once the hail, rain, and lightning have stopped, get your car to a safe location and check it for any damage.
WeatherTAP.co has you covered this severe weather season with weather alerts and up-to-the-minute radar.