A a member of the Potter County Fire Department in Texas poses beside several feet of hail that fell on the northern Texas county, north of Amarillo, April 11, 2012.
The Texas panhandle has some of the craziest weather in the U.S., according to Krissy Scotten, the warning coordination meteorologist at the National Weather Service Office in Amarillo, Texas. And with the hailstorm that happened yesterday in Texas’ Potter County, no one can really argue with her.
The hailstorm that caused the above photo began around 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday and lasted nearly two hours. The hail wasn’t exceptionally big, coming in about the size of quarter, but because it came down so quickly it accumulated up to four feet in some places.
“A lot of people thought the picture we posted was fake,” Scotten said, referring to the above photo, which they had posted on their Facebook page. Scotten explains that the lack of rain in the area caused the dark color and strange appearance of the hail. The lack of rain led to a buildup of mud and dust which mixed with the hail.
According to Scotten, the last time a hailstorm of this magnitude happened was in 1993 in Dalhart, Texas. A portion of highway 287 was closed for 18 hours because of the storm.
But residents of the Texas panhandle are no strangers to hail. The area’s high elevation and location between the Rocky Mountains and the Gulf of Mexico causes a lot of moisture and hail buildup to come its way. “We have coined ourselves the hail capital of the U.S.,” Scotten says.