North Texas

Why Wasn't There Big Hail?

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The forecast for Wednesday called for the potential for large hail in DFW. Not only large hail, but very large hail. Thankfully it didn't happen. But why?

The easy answer is the weather changed. But let's dive deeper into that explanation.

A small disturbance zipped across parts of North and East Texas Wednesday morning. You may have noticed some light rain that fell around lunch time. As that system moved away, it left much of North Texas in an area of sinking air for the rest of the afternoon. Unfortunately our high resolution computer models failed to pick up on the sinking motion. By the way, sinking air is bad for thunderstorm formation.

The latest video forecast from NBC DFW team of Weather Experts will appear in the player above. Keep up with the latest changes to the weather by downloading the NBC DFW smartphone App for iOS and Android!

In essence, during the time of the afternoon when storms would have been capable of becoming quite severe, the ingredient of rising air was missing. That kept the super-cell thunderstorms from forming and no large hail occurred.

North Texans Pull Out All the Stops to Protect Cars From Hail

The part of the forecast that verified was that there were numerous storms that developed Wednesday evening into early Thursday morning. We also had several reports of quarter- to half-dollar-size hail. Winds gusted to 58 mph at Alliance Airport in Fort Worth and 74 mph at Denton Airport. So it's not like there was no severe weather. There just wasn't giant hail.

As a meteorologist I'm always torn between the frustration of seeing my forecast bust, and being happy that no lives or property were affected by intense severe weather. It's also a constant reminder that our atmosphere is infinitely complex. Very subtle changes that occur may not be detected by our computer models. Forecasts can change rapidly, and sometimes people are left disappointed with the outcome.

Despite the difficulty, we will continue to give the weather our undivided attention. Providing you with accurate and timely weather information is our highest priority.

Get the latest forecast information from NBC 5's team of Weather Experts here.

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Stay Safe During a Hail Storm
At Home?
  • Head indoors immediately
  • If time allows, close all drapes, blinds or shades to prevent broken glass from entering your home.
  • Stay away from windows and skylights (any exterior glass) and head to a safe location inside your home, ideally only with interior walls.
  • Cover your head and seek shelter indoors immediately.
  • If you are trapped outside, get to a low-lying area and try to protect your head. Use clothing if it's all you have.
  • Stay inside your vehicle.
  • Slow down or pull over and stop at a safe location. DO NOT stop under a highway overpass. You may be protecting your vehicle, but you could be forcing other people to stop behind you.
  • Turn your back to windows or cover yourself with a blanket, coat or spare clothing to protect yourself from breaking glass.
  • If you have a sunroof, try to find something to protect your head.


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