CENTRAL TEXAS (KXAN) — While some in Salado are cleaning up debris from a tornado that swept through the area, others are dealing with the impacts of massive hailstones that were produced by the Tuesday storm.
KXAN viewers sent photos of hail the size of tennis balls and baseballs. Tom Russian, who lives in Salado, said some of the larger stones in his yard were even “softball size.”
“There’s a lot of car damage. People that had their cars outside are all checking,” Russian said Wednesday morning. People are also surveying for roof damage today, he noted.
You can see the damage in Salado Wednesday morning, which gives us an idea of how dangerous that hail would be should you have been caught outside in it. If it can hit hard enough to cause the damage you see above on Russian’s car, it’s not something you want to get hit in the head with.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) how fast hail falls depends on the size of the hailstone, along with the surrounding air and wind. It cites research showing that the hail you would normally see during a severe thunderstorm falls at roughly 25-40 mph.
But large hailstones, stones that are 2-4 inches in diameter, can fall between 44-72 mph. NOAA also notes it’s possible for those very large hailstones to fall at over 100 mph. The National Weather Service (NWS) warns hail that size can kill people.
For reference, hailstones the size of a softball would be roughly 4 inches in diameter. Baseball-sized hail would be roughly 2 2/3 inches. That means hail in Salado Tuesday was likely falling between 44-72 mph.
For all my baseball fans out there, being hit with a baseball-sized hailstone would be similar to being hit by a pitch in high school baseball. Some of those bigger stones, the softball-sized ones that travel at closer to 100 mph, would be like being hit by a major league pitcher.
Coming from the sky, it’s not a walk to first base you would be getting.
“You could definitely hear when it was a big piece hitting something,” Russian said of the hail that fell on his home Tuesday. “It sounded horrendous it was super loud. It was really loud.”