Anatomy of a hailstorm

Posted at: 07/04/2013 10:45 PM
By: Eddie Garcia, KOB Eyewitness News 4

It’s around 6:15 Wednesday evening in Santa Rosa, and all hail is breaking loose.

The aftermath a full 16 hours later showed a town still paralyzed under two feet of ice – in July.

“This was unusually deep but this was not an event of biblical proportions by any means. It probably felt like that to the people of Santa Rosa yesterday,” meteorologist Deirdra Kann said.

Kann says if you want something of biblical proportions, you just have to go back nine years.

Friday, the 13th of August, 2004. A storm left behind up to 15 feet of hail just south of Clayton. Enough to form ice caverns. So famous, it’s known as the Union County Glacier.

“It was a pretty similar situation in that they had storms that produced a lot of little hail and then also copious amounts of rain,” Kann said.

Actually, only about a foot of hail fell, but rain swept it into a creek causing it to collect and pile up to over a dozen feet.

“And it took weeks to melt,” Kann points out.

People may be wondering why the hail doesn’t melt immediately since it’s summer. The answer is: The hail is sitting on wet ground and that little bit of cooling slows down the melting process, leaving the hail to sit several hours and sometimes day before it disappears.