JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Severe hail pummeled portions of Florida and Georgia Tuesday and Wednesday evening — damaging windows, fences and even pool screens and lanais.
This hail is a product of some very intense thunderstorms.
The recipe for hail
Florida is not known for its large hail. The state’s southern latitude and borderline tropical climate make developing hail very difficult.
To create hail, a variety of ingredients need to come together.
First, cold air below freezing needs to exist in the mid and upper levels of the atmosphere. This allows water droplets to freeze, beginning the hailing process.
Second, thunderstorms need to sustain strong updrafts. These updrafts lift the developing hail stones back up into the atmosphere, allowing another level of water to freeze on top of the existing hail.
Once the hail weighs so much the updraft can no longer support it, the hail stone falls from the sky and hits the ground.
Cold air aloft
In Florida, getting the cold air aloft can be difficult. But the atmosphere is set up a bit differently this week.
A very cold pool of air has developed over the state in the mid and upper levels of the atmosphere.
This cold pool helps to develop not only hail, but large hail. And that hail pummeled portions of Central Florida Tuesday evening.
Some of the most significant damage was reported in Lake and Osceola counties, just west and south of Orlando.
Hail covered the ground like snow, with damage being reported to fences, windows and pool screens.
More hail on Wednesday
The cold air pool in the mid-levels has actually gotten colder and increased the threat of large hail on Wednesday.
That was proven true when News4JAX sister station WKMG reported a deluge of dent-makers on Interstate 95 in Brevard County.
The Storm Prediction Center placed much of Central Florida at an enhanced risk for severe weather, highlighting the threat of large and destructive hail Wednesday.
Meteorologists forecasted the possibility of 2-3″ hail.
SnapJAX users uploaded photos of hail on Wednesday. Here are a few uploads.
Large hail is a rarity in the sunshine state, but some cold air aloft is allowing some impressive hail to impact Florida.