March 12, 2010 Hail Event

A very unusual hail event occurred in portions of northern Alabama on the morning of March 12th, 2010. Strong thunderstorms developed ahead of a cold front and as an intensely cold, upper-level low pressure system was moving across the area. The resulting instability, shear and cold air aloft allowed for the development of large amounts of hail where the strongest thunderstorms occurred.  

Thuderstorms entered northwest Alabama during the pre-dawn hours, bringing strong winds and large hail up to golf ball size to portions of Franklin and Lawrence Counties. The storms then became more organized as they pushed further eastward into northeastern Alabama during the mid to late morning hours.

Click on the image below to see a radar loop of the line of thunderstorms as it pushed across DeKalb County.

Radar imagery from Hytop, AL

 

As this line of severe thunderstorms moved east, the amount of hail the storms produced increased sharply, particularly as they pushed into Marshall County. Below are several picture of hail accumulation some 3 to 5 hours after the hail occurred.  Notice that a substantial amount of hail remained on the ground even several hours later, despite temperatures in the 50s. 

 

Storm Damage in
Storm Damage in Storm Damage in
The picture seen below also suggests that hail size in some locations could have been substantially larger than golf ball size.

Radar imagery from Hytop, AL

Thanks is extended to our Spotters for their reports and to the DeKalb County EMA who provided these pictures. Following is a list of storm reports from this event.

 

PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT...SUMMARY
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HUNTSVILLE AL
219 PM CST FRI MAR 12 2010

..TIME...   ...EVENT...      ...CITY LOCATION...     ...LAT.LON...
..DATE...   ....MAG....      ..COUNTY LOCATION..ST.. ...SOURCE....
            ..REMARKS..

0230 AM     HAIL             5 W PHIL CAMPBELL       34.35N 87.79W
03/12/2010  E1.00 INCH       FRANKLIN           AL   PUBLIC

            QUARTER SIZE HAIL REPORTED 5 MILES WEST OF PHIL CAMPBELL.


0240 AM     TSTM WND GST     5 E RUSSELLVILLE        34.51N 87.64W
03/12/2010  E56.00 MPH       FRANKLIN           AL   BROADCAST MEDIA

0245 AM     HAIL             10 SE TUSCUMBIA         34.63N 87.58W
03/12/2010  E0.88 INCH       COLBERT            AL   EMERGENCY MNGR

            NICKEL HAIL NEAR SPRING VALLEY

0248 AM     HAIL             5 E PHIL CAMPBELL       34.35N 87.62W
03/12/2010  E1.75 INCH       FRANKLIN           AL   BROADCAST MEDIA

            PENNY TO GOLF BALL HAIL

0300 AM     LIGHTNING        COURTLAND               34.67N 87.32W
03/12/2010                   LAWRENCE           AL   BROADCAST MEDIA

            COURTLAND APARTMENT COMPLEX STRUCK BY LIGHTNING AND
            BURNED.

0307 AM     HAIL             10 NW MOULTON           34.59N 87.41W
03/12/2010  E1.00 INCH       LAWRENCE           AL   EMERGENCY MNGR

            NEAR HATTON QUARTER SIZE HAIL

0340 AM     HAIL             5 W TRINITY             34.60N 87.18W
03/12/2010  E1.75 INCH       LAWRENCE           AL   STORM CHASER

0345 AM     HAIL             MOULTON                 34.48N 87.28W
03/12/2010  E0.75 INCH       LAWRENCE           AL   EMERGENCY MNGR

0347 AM     HAIL             12 W ATHENS             34.79N 87.17W
03/12/2010  E1.00 INCH       LIMESTONE          AL   EMERGENCY MNGR

0350 AM     HAIL             10 SW ATHENS            34.68N 87.08W
03/12/2010  E1.00 INCH       LIMESTONE          AL   TRAINED SPOTTER

            WIND GUSTS 35 MPH

0357 AM     HAIL             8 WSW ATHENS            34.74N 87.09W
03/12/2010  E1.00 INCH       LIMESTONE          AL   TRAINED SPOTTER

            QUARTER SIZE HAIL IN RIPLEY WITH WINDS AROUND 40 MPH.

0405 AM     HAIL             ELKMONT                 34.93N 86.98W
03/12/2010  E0.75 INCH       LIMESTONE          AL   LAW ENFORCEMENT

0416 AM     HAIL             ATHENS                  34.79N 86.96W
03/12/2010  E0.75 INCH       LIMESTONE          AL   LAW ENFORCEMENT

0503 AM     HAIL             15 W CULLMAN            34.18N 87.10W
03/12/2010  E1.00 INCH       CULLMAN            AL   EMERGENCY MNGR

            QUARTER HAIL IN LOGAN

0508 AM     HAIL             PETERSBURG              35.32N 86.64W
03/12/2010  E1.25 INCH       LINCOLN            TN   PUBLIC

            QUARTER TO HALF DOLLAR SIZE HAIL REPORTED IN PETERSBURG.

0515 AM     HAIL             WEST POINT              34.24N 86.95W
03/12/2010  E0.88 INCH       CULLMAN            AL   PUBLIC

            NICKEL HAIL COVERING THE GROUND

0515 AM     HAIL             WEST POINT              34.24N 86.95W
03/12/2010  E1.00 INCH       CULLMAN            AL   TRAINED SPOTTER

0527 AM     HAIL             CULLMAN                 34.18N 86.84W
03/12/2010  E0.75 INCH       CULLMAN            AL   EMERGENCY MNGR

0528 AM     HAIL             10 SW CULLMAN           34.07N 86.96W
03/12/2010  E1.00 INCH       CULLMAN            AL   EMERGENCY MNGR

0535 AM     HAIL             MADISON                 34.70N 86.75W
03/12/2010  E1.00 INCH       MADISON            AL   PUBLIC

0538 AM     HAIL             ATHENS                  34.79N 86.96W
03/12/2010  E0.75 INCH       LIMESTONE          AL   PUBLIC

0545 AM     HAIL             MADISON                 34.70N 86.75W
03/12/2010  E0.75 INCH       MADISON            AL   PUBLIC

0555 AM     HAIL             HUNTSVILLE              34.71N 86.63W
03/12/2010  E0.75 INCH       MADISON            AL   NWS EMPLOYEE

            PENNY HAIL COVERING THE GROUND IN THE MONROVIA AREA

0610 AM     HAIL             FAIRVIEW                34.25N 86.69W
03/12/2010  E0.75 INCH       CULLMAN            AL   EMERGENCY MNGR

0621 AM     HAIL             CULLMAN                 34.17N 86.84W
03/12/2010  E0.75 INCH       CULLMAN            AL   EMERGENCY MNGR

0621 AM     HAIL             10 NE CULLMAN           34.28N 86.71W
03/12/2010  E0.75 INCH       CULLMAN            AL   EMERGENCY MNGR

0635 AM     HAIL             HUNTSVILLE              34.73N 86.59W
03/12/2010  E0.25 INCH       MADISON            AL   NWS EMPLOYEE

0914 AM     HAIL             GUNTERSVILLE            34.36N 86.27W
03/12/2010  E0.75 INCH       MARSHALL           AL   EMERGENCY MNGR

            DIME TO PENNY SIZED HAIL PILED UP 2 INCHES DEEP AT THE
            MARSHALL COUNTY COURTHOUSE.

0917 AM     HAIL             GUNTERSVILLE            34.36N 86.27W
03/12/2010  E0.50 INCH       MARSHALL           AL   AMATEUR RADIO

            DIME SIZED HAIL IN GUNTERSVILLE. REPORTED BY HAM RADIO
            OPERATOR.

0930 AM     TSTM WND DMG     3 ENE GUNTERSVILLE      34.37N 86.22W
03/12/2010                   MARSHALL           AL   EMERGENCY MNGR

            TREES BLOWN DOWN AT GUNTERSVILLE STATE PARK.

0930 AM     HAIL             3 ENE GUNTERSVILLE      34.37N 86.22W
03/12/2010  E1.75 INCH       MARSHALL           AL   EMERGENCY MNGR

            GOLFBALL HAIL REPORTED AT GUNTERSVILLE STATE PARK.

0947 AM     HAIL             GERALDINE               34.36N 86.00W
03/12/2010  E1.00 INCH       DEKALB             AL   EMERGENCY MNGR

            NICKEL TO QUARTER SIZED HAIL PILED UP 8 INCHES DEEP ON
            HIGHWAY 75 NEAR GERALDINE. DOT CREWS WERE CALLED IN TO
            CLEAR A BRIDGE. NUMEROUS REPORTS OF ACCIDENTS DUE TO
            HAIL/SLUSH MAKING THE ROADS SLICK.

0952 AM     HAIL             GERALDINE               34.36N 86.00W
03/12/2010  E0.50 INCH       DEKALB             AL   LAW ENFORCEMENT

            MARBLE HAIL REPORTED BY POLICE DEPARTMENT.

0958 AM     HAIL             FORT PAYNE              34.45N 85.69W
03/12/2010  E0.50 INCH       DEKALB             AL   EMERGENCY MNGR

            PEA TO MARBLE HAIL COVERING A LARGE AREA OF THE COUNTY.
            REPORTS OF SOME LOCATIONS HAVING HAIL 2 INCHES DEEP ON
            THE GROUND.

1003 AM     HAIL             RAINSVILLE              34.50N 85.84W
03/12/2010  E1.25 INCH       DEKALB             AL   EMERGENCY MNGR

            QUARTER TO HALF DOLLAR SIZED HAIL REPORTED IN RAINSVILLE.


1005 AM     TSTM WND DMG     RAINSVILLE              34.50N 85.84W
03/12/2010                   DEKALB             AL   EMERGENCY MNGR

            TIN ROOF RIPPED OFF A BARN ON RAINBOW AVENUE IN
            RAINSVILLE.

1005 AM     HAIL             RAINSVILLE              34.50N 85.84W
03/12/2010  E1.75 INCH       DEKALB             AL   EMERGENCY MNGR

            HAIL UP TO THE SIZE OF GOLFBALLS. REPORTED BY EMA.

1005 AM     HAIL             RAINSVILLE              34.50N 85.84W
03/12/2010  E1.75 INCH       DEKALB             AL   EMERGENCY MNGR

            HALF DOLLAR TO GOLFBALL SIZE HAIL CAUSING STRUCTURAL
            DAMAGE IN THE RAINSVILLE AREA.

1010 AM     HAIL             SYLVANIA                34.56N 85.81W
03/12/2010  E2.00 INCH       DEKALB             AL   EMERGENCY MNGR

            GOLFBALL TO HEN EGG SIZED HAIL. REPORTED BY EMA.

1022 AM     HAIL             2 ESE HENAGAR           34.62N 85.70W
03/12/2010  E1.75 INCH       DEKALB             AL   PUBLIC

            GOLF BALL SIZE HAIL REPORTED JUST EAST OF HENAGAR.

1030 AM     HAIL             1 NW VALLEY HEAD        34.56N 85.64W
03/12/2010  E1.00 INCH       DEKALB             AL   PUBLIC

            QUARTER SIZE HAIL REPORTED IN VALLEY HEAD.

1035 AM     HAIL             5 S VALLEY HEAD         34.48N 85.63W
03/12/2010  E0.88 INCH       DEKALB             AL   PARK/FOREST SRVC

            NICKEL SIZE HAIL ACCUMULATED ON THE GROUND IN DESOTO
            STATE PARK.

1040 AM     HAIL             MENTONE                 34.57N 85.58W
03/12/2010  E0.75 INCH       DEKALB             AL   PUBLIC

            PENNY SIZE HAIL REPORTED IN MENTONE.

1041 AM     HAIL             IDER                    34.70N 85.67W
03/12/2010  E0.50 INCH       DEKALB             AL   LAW ENFORCEMENT

            DIME SIZED HAIL REPORTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT.

0105 PM     HAIL             RAINSVILLE              34.50N 85.84W
03/12/2010  U0.25 INCH       DEKALB             AL   EMERGENCY MNGR

            HAIL ACCUMULATIONS BETWEEN 1 TO 3 INCHES STILL BEING
            REPORTED IN RAINSVILLE ON KIRK AND HICKS ROAD AS WELL AS
            COUNTY ROAD 72 AND 652 AND RAINBOW AVENUE.


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