As if an extreme tornado that flies tractor-trailers through the air wasn't enough, check out the hail that came along with the at least two "large and extremely dangerous" twisters in the Dallas-Fort Worth area on Tuesday.
The hail size ranged from dime to golfball to baseball. Here are some photos collected by Gizmodo:
This video shows the pelting of golf ball-sized:
A local newscaster describes the hail from a gas station where residents are pulling up to seek coverage under the awning:
Hail is often associated with severe storms in conditions known to produce tornadoes. NOAA explains how the hail forms:
- Inside of a thunderstorm are strong updrafts of warm air and downdrafts of cold air.
- If a water droplet is picked up by the updrafts...it can be carried well above the freezing level. With temperatures below 32F...our water droplet freezes.
- As the frozen droplet begins to fall...carried by cold downdrafts...it may thaw as it moves into warmer air toward the bottom of the thunderstorm
- But...our little half-frozen droplet may also get picked up again by another updraft...carrying it back into very cold air and re-freezing it. With each trip above and below the freezing level our frozen droplet adds another layer of ice.
- Finally...our frozen water droplet...with many layers of ice - much like the rings in a tree...falls to the ground - as hail!
In terms of hail damage, it is assumed (based on the picture above) that many vehicles will have smashed windows and dented hoods after the storm. The Associated Press also reported American Airlines spokeswoman Andrea Huguely as saying the airline was pulling dozens of planes out of service to inspect them for hail damage. Evening flights at DFW were canceled.
Even though the hail seen in Dallas can be considered Texas-sized, it isn't quite the largest ever reported. According to NOAA, the largest hail stone measured 7 inches in diameter and weighed a little less than a pound. It was dropped in Aurora, Neb., in 2003.
Gizmodo has more videos of the hail portion of the storm from its readers. Watch them here.