Tremendous Hail Storm Buries Texas Highway

A slow-moving supercell buried a Texas highway in several feet of hail on Wednesday, bringing traffic to a halt and requiring the department of transportation to call out the snow plows to clear the roadway.

Mounds of hail resembling rocks line the ditch as shown in this photograph taken on the afternoon of Wednesday, April 11, 2012 in Potter County, TX

Meteorologists from the Amarillow National Weather Service office compiled several photographs from the public and also conducted a storm survey in northern Potter County along U.S. highway 287 24 hours after the storm to assess the full impact.  Their findings were quite dramatic.

The hail piled into 3-4-foot tall drifts on both sides of U.S. Highway 287, forcing a closure of the highway for more than 12 hours on Wednesday, April 11, 2012.

A slow-moving severe thunderstorm just south of the town of Masterson brought not only heavy hail, but also very heavy rain.  The rain acted to float the hail across the surface, resulting in large “drifts” of hail piling up in ditches and against roadway culverts.

A traffic camera shows the backup caused by the drifts of hail that forced cars off the road, bringing traffic to a halt on Wednesday, April 11, 2012 in Potter Co. Texas

Radar estimates indicate 5 to 6 inches if rain fell in an area about 25 miles north of Amarillo, all inside of a 1-2 hour period.  Hail to the size of golfballs fell and the runoff from the heavy rain created 3-4 foot drifts across U.S. Highway 287.  The hail forced the roadway to be shut down for over 12 hours.

When National Weather Service meteorologists surveyed the area on Thursday — nearly 24 hours after the storm — they still found mounds of hail that had not yet melted lining the sides of the roadway.


Hail several inches deep still lined the roadway nearly 24 hours after the storm when meteorologists surveyed the scene on Thursday, April 12, 2012.


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