Severe Storms Spawn Tennis Ball-Size Hail in South Alabama
ANDALUSIA, AL – July 23, 2018
Another round of strong to severe storms have produced large hail and damaged homes and downed trees as they moved across some parts of south Alabama on Sunday afternoon.
The Storm Prediction Center has placed most of Alabama under a risk of severe weather for Sunday.
Multiple severe storms have developed across the southern part of the state as of Sunday afternoon. The strongest storms could bring damaging wind gusts up to 60 mph and some tennis ball size hail.
The National Weather Service in Mobile is monitoring a large hailstone that fell in Andalusia, which is located in Covington County, Alabama.
⛈️Tennis ball sized hail near Andalusia, AL earlier this afternoon. Thanks to Angela Mitchell & her husband for this photo. We've seen several pictures & reports of tennis ball size hail around the Andalusia area (Covington County, AL). #alwx pic.twitter.com/imcTdaBeAs— NWS Mobile (@NWSMobile) July 22, 2018
Large hail has also been reported in Choctaw and Clarke counties.
The weather service is collecting hail reports from the area, and asked anyone with photos or reports of large hail to send them in.
There was a confirmed report of a 4.0" hailstone in far southern Alabama today. This was the nearby sounding in Tallahassee, FL at 1800z. Take note of how low the wet-bulb zero level is in addition to the large CAPE/unidirectional shear. Impressive sounding for that region! #ALwx pic.twitter.com/QYiEHihKNM— Harrison Sincavage (@HRRRison) July 22, 2018
The hailstones in the region have been measured to be as large as 2.5 - 3 inches in diameter.
In comparison, the largest hailstone to fall in the state of Alabama did so on March 19, 2018 in Cullman County. Its maximum diameter was 5.38 inches and it weighed 9.8 ounces, or over half a pound.
Storms could also bring heavy rain and frequent lightning. Those places without storms could be extra steamy today, and a heat advisory continues for Mobile, Baldwin and Escambia counties, according to the weather service.
Temperatures will again climb into the mid-90s with dew points in the mid- to upper 70s.
That could raise the heat index to as high as 112 degrees near the coast.
The heat advisory will be in effect until 6 p.m.
And it may not be a good idea to take a dip in the Gulf to cool off.
A high risk of rip currents will be in place along the Alabama and northwest Florida coast through tonight, according to the weather service.
Strong west winds are expected to churn up waves of 5-7 feet, which prompted a small craft advisory. It will also make the water dangerous for all levels of swimmers.