Extreme hail storms were observed in Virginia and North Carolina over the weekend -- not extremely large hail, but copious amounts of it fell from the storms. The unusual recent warmth, coupled with very cold air aloft, associated with this upper-level low pressure system, caused the unusual amount of hail. You can read our detailed article on the Virginia storms Saturday (which included the photo below), but I wanted to point out what happened Saturday night, which hit close to my childhood home.
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Hail accumulated 6 inches deep on this back porch in Smith Mountain Lake, Va. (Michelle Dix Corvin/WSLS-TV)
About 2 a.m. Saturday night/Sunday morning, a severe thunderstorm developed east of Lincolnton, N.C. As it swept counter-clockwise around the upper-level low, it dumped inches of hail through eastern Iredell County, before fading west of Winston-Salem around daybreak. The hail was so deep, it caused traffic accidents on I-77 according to this WSOC-TV video:
You can easily see the "track" of the storm via the NWS Spotter Reports and the lightning strike data from Vaisala:
Click on the radar below for a loop and watch it circulate around the center of the upper-level low (pretty cool):
Photographer Chris Austin also got a killer picture of a rainbow over the city of Charlotte. (and Brad Panovich explains the various weather you're seeing in the photo). Did the hail storms cause damage? You betcha. Here's another photo from the Virginia Saturday storms.
P.S.: What's the deepest hail that's ever been recorded? HINT: It's in feet.
When I saw that Google had created a 30-year satellite time-lapse of Earth, I knew where the most impressive weather-related animations would be.
Whatever you call them -- "Ice Needling," "Ice Surges," or "Ice Shoves," or "Ice Heaves" -- a phenomenon that I first blogged about in 2009 is back -- with a vengeance!
17 years ago on this date, while I was taking my freshman exams at UNCA, a "cut-off" low was rumored to dump 57" of snow at nearby Mount Pisgah... but is that reading reliable?
Tornado reports and warnings are down for 2013 so far, and the last 12 months, but what about severe-thunderstorm-warned areas and lightning strikes?
The last two weeks have featured no less than four storm days, one with four storms, here in Central Pennsylvania and I've taken some neat pictures.
10,167 record lows have fallen so far in 2013, as well as 5,000 snowfall records. How does this compare to this time last year? The Ice Age cometh.