The early morning hail storm started in the"Old Town" area of Bartlett, TN around 2 am Wednesday morning, May 6, 1998 (Fig. 1). Dime to quarter sized hail fell through out the area marked on the attached map. Winds were estimated at 50 to 60 mph with fences blown over, large limbs down, and occasional trees down.
The storm intensified as it moved northeast into the Davies Plantation area. Significant hail damage occurred in the area of Ellen Davies Road, St Phillip and Vanderschaft Drive. The streets and drives were covered with leaves. Drivers could not tell where the road edge stopped and where the upscale country lawns started. Numerous skylights and windows on the west sides of the homes were broken. Roofs were heavily damaged. Paint was beaten off many of the white fences that circled various properties. Hail was reported as golfball to baseball size.
The Senior Weather Personality at WMC-TV reported 70 to 80 mph winds as the storm moved over the town of Lakeland, TN. The wind equipment on his house was destroyed by the hail. Wind speeds decreased quickly as golfball to baseball sized hail pummeled the area around Lake Garner. The winds were noted as being straight line and not tornadic. Some trees were blown down, but most of the damage was done by the large hail. Again roofs, skylights, windows and exposed vehicles were damaged by the hail. Looking across Lake Garner at the gated community on the east shores one could see major hail damage to the large homes along the lake.
Lesser damage by the hail could be found in Northern Fayette County and Southern Haywood County. The hail decreased to pea as it crossed into South Central Madison County.