All images and
text © copyright Gene
unless otherwise indicated.
This large hailstone fell from a tornadic supercell northeast of Breckenridge, TX. The stones left a path miles wide littered with three to four and one half inch stones. The hail fell from a dark cloud base to the south of a developing mesocyclone. No rain or thunder occurred in the immediate area while the stones were coming down.Further to the northeast more large stones fell blocking chase crews from the University of Oklahoma from reaching the tornado.
A University of Oklahoma storm chaser holds a handful of stones that fell from a supercell thunderstorm near Enid, Oklahoma during the spring of 1990. This storm went on to produce a tornado that struck Stillwater, Oklahoma at dusk that evening. The many chase crews that were following the storm broke off for new activity further south, missing the late day tornado.
Note the irregular shape of some of the stones. One on the left
is elongated with small spikes, and others that fell that day were jagged. Near
this location a particularly large stone was dug out of the mud; it measured
five inches in diameter; although, that is a big chunk of ice the largest stone
fell at Coffeyville, Kansas in 1970 and measured just under seven inches in
diameter. I was there, and had an old Polaroid camera, but was so busy watching
the storm I forgot about taking pictures.
Hail about an inch larger than these stones broke this windshield. Chasers have witnessed golf ball sized stones about this diameter not break glass. It depends on the hardness of the stones and the angle of the impact. Occasionally a motorist can get lucky and get hit with a large soft stone when temperatures aloft are warmer. The soft stones crack apart absorbing the impact. In this case the stones were rock hard.
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