“Oh, you mean ‘inches?’”
No, I mean FEET.
Parts of Texas got absolutely dumped on yesterday, with some parts of the state receiving a whopping 4 FEET of hail.
This really happened. The National Weather Service, the Texas Department of Transportation, a local sheriff, and several others have confirmed it. The bizarre weather affected an area north of Amarillo when hail piled up in drifts so wide they cut off a major highway.
The NWS even posted a few photos to their official Facebook page.
An image of a firefighter standing next to massive piles of hail has sparked lots of skepticism across the web, with some saying it looked like a dusting of hail on top of some very large rocks.
“I can assure you we do not have big rocks like that in West Texas,” said Krissy Scotten, a spokeswoman for the weather service office in Amarillo.
“That was 4 feet of ice” that was compacted by rain and floodwater across a wide area, she added.
“It was actually the rain/water that caused the drifts,” Scotten said. “Anytime you have hail accumulate 2 to 4 feet high and get over three inches of rain, no matter how it occurs, it’s pretty incredible.”
As for the darkish color, “we’re very dusty around here” due to drought so the hail quickly darkened, Scotten said.
The photo was sent in by the Potter County Fire Department and the firefighter seen in it is standing where meltwater had cut through the hail.
The Texas Department of Transportation confirms it was a massive amount of hail dumped by an intense storm that dropped visibility to near-zero at times.
“Heavy rain and up to 4 ft of hail has US 287 blocked north of Amarillo,” it tweeted yesterday.
The local sheriff agreed.
“You’re looking at four foot deep” hail in one stretch, said Brian Thomas, sheriff of Potter County. “This was just one of those weird storms that just sat here and came down extremely heavy in this one area.”
Amarillo TV station Pronews 7 even shot video of flash flooding triggered by the pea-sized hail and several inches of rain.
Check it out in the video below. Those are mounds of flowing hail, not water. Hail.