Hail Storm Socorro NM 10/5/04
The bad stuff from this storm is in about a square mile or so and lasted about a half hour. The hail was up to tennis ball or baseball size. Some of the hail balls you see pictured here have already been melting for 4 hours before I took the pictures. I have never seen anything like it.
The sound was so deafening in my building I had to stop my class because we couldn't hear anything. Hail balls were bouncing off the roof of the building next door and bouncing 20 feet up in the air. It literally looked like millions of baseballs were falling from the sky at the same time landing everywhere.
In the parking lot outside my building nearly every windshield was smashed or cracked in multiple places, and about half the cars had windows completely blown out and shattered. It literally looks like a war zone - piles of broken glass everywhere. There's tree foliage covering everything. Cars were filled with ice balls and water and tree branches. People who were outside at the time had welts on their arms and heads from getting hit by hail, one was knocked out and went to the hospital bloody. Some people were pummeled with ice rocks after their windshields or sunroofs shattered while driving. The neighbor's cat was killed. I have never seen such mayhem quite like that.
At home, as you can see our mailbox was totalled. The trees about 75% defoliated - any branch thinner than your thumb was torn down. Some hail balls blasted clear through the roof. There are holes into the attic and we have sheetrock damage inside from the leaks. In the unfinished garage you can see where the impacts of the hail balls have blown out the wood boards on the underside of the roof. According to local weather experts, 2" hail reaches a terminal velocity of 65 mph, and 3" hail is 90 mph. That's like a major league fastball, and about the same size for some of the hail.
More hail pics on Chris' page. There's a lot of good pics here - espically documenting the sheer quantity of damaged cars (note to self, don't buy a Saturn).
Another guy's page of hail pics This site shows some folks kyaking in the deluge.
mp3 sound file of the hail This is impressive - a deafening roar.