Severe Weather & Hail Storms of March 23-24, 2013
Two episodes of severe weather occurred over the weekend of March 23rd and 24th, 2013. On Saturday morning March 23rd, several storms produced large hail across the Florida Panhandle & Big Bend as well as adjacent areas of Southwest & South Central Georgia. A preliminary local storm report details the hail reports received that morning. Figure 1 depicts all of the warnings (polygons) issued by WFO Tallahassee during the two-day event, with severe weather reports overlaid. The average event lead time was 17 minutes. A photo gallery for this event is now available.
Figure 1. Warning polygons issued by WFO Tallahassee from March 23-24, 2013. Severe (yellow), special marine (purple), and flood (green) warnings are depicted. Locations of reported severe weather are shown by the icons.
Twenty two reports of severe hail were received during this event in just over a 3-hr period. Three of those were golf-ball size reports from Georgia's Cook and Berrien Counties. Figure 2 shows the hail storms in these two counties.
Figure 2. Mosaic reflectivity image showing the severe thunderstorm over Berrien and Cook Counties in GA at 1110 AM EDT (1510 UTC) March 23, 2013. Locations of reported severe weather associated with this storm are shown by the icons.
Figure 3 shows severe-size hail in neighboring Cook County, GA with a quarter dutifully shown for comparison. Figure 4 shows similar-sized hail in the hand of a Berrien County resident near Nashville. Figure 5 shows trees damaged by severe wind gusts in Nashville. Notice the fog formed by the melting hail still noticeable along the side of the road.
Figure 3. Golf-ball size hail that fell in Cook County, GA on March 23, 2013. Note the hail is much larger in diameter than the quarter.
Figure 4. Golf-ball size hail that fell in Berrien County, GA on March 23, 2013. Note that several hail stones are larger in diameter than the quarter.
Figure 5. Trees damaged by severe wind gusts in Nashville, GA on March 23, 2013. Fog has developed as melting hail stones cool the nearby air to saturation.
A second round of severe weather occurred the following morning. This was a brief event that produced a few wind damage reports in Leon County, FL and Grady and Thomas Counties in GA. Downed trees blocked the eastbound lanes of I-10 near the Monroe St. exit in Tallahassee, the Bloxham Cutoff just east of Bloxham, FL, and the eastbound lanes on U.S. Hwy 84 near Boston, GA. Figure 6 shows what the radar looked like over the Tallahassee area during the severe storms.
Figure 6. Mosaic reflectivity image showing the severe thunderstorm over Leon County, FL at 745 AM EDT (1145 UTC) March 24, 2013. Locations of reported severe weather associated with this storm are shown by the icons.
Page created by Mark Wool. Thanks to Don Van Dyke for the warning polygon and radar images and to Jeff Evans, Kelly Godsey and Katie Moore for gathering hail and damage photos.