Hail: not what we needed

It’s been absurdly wet for three years. Looking at Columbia weather records since the late 1890 (and our own data), the past three years are the first such period on record in which annual rainfall has been over 50″ for three consecutive years. In fact, annual rainfall in this area has only gone above 50″  ten times in that entire period. Three of them were, you guessed it, the last three years. Enough, already.

So this is what we got this afternoon (make sure to turn on the volume):

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWJw2t2CZfA]

That’s pea-size hail, all of it, covering the ground, with some dime-size mixed in. And just under an inch of rain in a short period of time (over an inch if you include the moisture now melting out from the hail layer). From a science/weather nut perspective, quite fun to watch, one of the most intense storms we’ve had here. From a not wanting to live and work in a sea of mud perspective, not so much.

Here’s the hail building up in a nice pile where several roof angles converge:

Here’s a closeup of the little buggers: 
Naturally this event shredded some of the greenery off our cedars. This resulted in a really neat phenomenon; when we stepped outside as the hail and rain slackened off, the entire air was rich with cedar perfume, like stepping into a massive potpourri bag. Really neat experience, especially combined with a thick mist/fog rising off the ground and whipping away in the strong west wind trailing the storm.
And this is our stream, a few hours later. We’ve seen it this high before, and it goes back down quickly, but still an impressive response to an impressive storm. The rest of the farm is, of course, a sea of mud and slowly draining water. Yuck.
It was fun while it happened, but the aftermath is rather frustrating. At least we didn’t have any crops out other than some overwintering spinach, collards, and a few other things. We’ll see if there’s any real damage tomorrow. Could have been worse, though, as the same system spawned multiple tornadoes and damaging winds as it swept past St. Louis.

2 thoughts on “Hail: not what we needed

  1. Yeah, it was impressive. As it was, we were sideswiped slightly. There was very little hail a mile south of us in Elm Tree, but friends a few miles north got a similar density to us. Just a good, strong storm cell on a narrow track.