06/06/06 Hill Hail Hell

When: 6:06PM, 06/06/06.
Where: Mid-town Chapel Hill.
What: Horizontal sheets of blueberry-size hail.

A rapid moving storm front dumped up to an inch of pea to blueberry size hail in our yard.

Not wanting to bike MLK in a tonight’s downpour, I called my wife for a ride home. While on the phone with her, all hell broke loose. All I could hear over the phone was a general din as she and my son ran through the house closing windows – yelling to each other about buckets of rain, pounding hail and tornadic winds.

Sweeping along a 600 foot long swath perpendicular to our street, our home seemed to be dead-center of an extreme microburst. Pelted by horizontal sheets of hail, the wind blew so hard that rain crept through the hastily shut windows. Torrents unleashed, the front drive quickly flooded with 6 inches of water – something we haven’t seen before. The temperature seemed to drop 10 or more degrees.

15 minutes later, the storm event over, I got that ride.

As we approached our home, an eerie fog was rising in the neighborhood. A hundred yards from our driveway, a trail of hail arose – neatly bisecting the road – almost perfectly linear in dimension. One side, the remnants of a rainy deluge. The other, broken branches, a smooth layer of glittering hail and rising fog.

[UPDATE:] This morning we still have piles of hail in the backyard.





Leave a Reply