Monday, April 27, 2015

Amazing supercells drop at least two tornadoes, softball-size hail in Texas

It was a dangerous weather night in parts of northern Texas on Sunday as powerful supercell thunderstorms dropped at least two potentially long-lived and intense tornadoes and large hail the size of softballs.
Storm spotters began to report tornadoes on the ground at around 3:45 p.m., and the reports continued to flow in until 12:30 a.m. The tornado reports spanned eight counties in north central Texas just south of the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area.

The radar loop (above) shows two supercell thunderstorms develop the classic “hook echo” before merging into one large storm. That bow-echo storm continued across eastern Texas with damaging straight-line winds.
The dangerous Texas supercells boasted stunning structure. Timelapse video of the storm near Stephenville, Texas, (above) shows the mesocyclone — the spinning updraft — rotate as it builds tall into the sky. As the storm became more mature, the aquamarine hue of hail can be seen in the updraft in this photo from storm chaster Ryan Shepard:
Massive hail stones fell from the storms, some larger than a softball. Hail with a diameter of 4.25 inches was reported in Stephenville, Texas.
Hail coated the ground around Dublin, Texas, in the as the storms rolled through.

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