(WFRV) – It was quite the wake up call in Northeast Wisconsin Tuesday morning. Storms developed off a passing cold front and produced over 60 reports of hail in the WFRV coverage area.
Outagamie county took the brunt of these severe thunderstorms. Many reports filtered in of hail the size of golf balls and baseballs. What stood out, even more, were the few reports that had hail size 4” or more. One preliminary hail report checked in at 4.5” north of Appleton which would be historic.
Phillip Kurimski is a Senior Meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Green Bay. He says “we looked at the record books and it looks like for Outagamie county this would be largest hail stone in that county. If we look at Wisconsin as a whole, this would be the third largest ever for Wisconsin.”
According to the National Weather Service, this 4.5” hailstone would rank behind the 1921 5.7” hailstone in Wausau and a 5.5” hailstone recorded in Port Edwards in 2007. This would put Tuesday’s event in a tie with a few other notable years of 4.5″ hail.
To put this hail size in perspective, I’m holding a softball that has a diameter of 4”, another half-inch would be the diameter of a grapefruit and the size of the preliminary report north of Appleton.
“Overall we had two more reports of 4” or greater…we had a 4” and a 4.1”…we had a lot of 2″ or 3″….it appears to be legitimate, but we still have to dig and compare it to radar and other reports.” – Kurimski
Cold air loft, a low freezing level, and strong updrafts helped contribute to the unusually large hail forming on Tuesday. Amazingly, no injuries were reported with the storms.