Snow in July?? Not Quite... - KMSP-TV

Snow in July?? Not Quite...

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A thunderstorm rolling through eastern New Mexico dumped more than a foot of hail on the city of Santa Rosa on Wednesday. A storm developed and moved slowly through the city of about 2800 people around 6pm local time. Pea to golf ball sized hail pelted the city for about an hour. After it was all over, more than a foot of the white pellets coated the ground and turned the day before Independence Day into a winter like scene. Photos from the local fire department show that the city actually had to deploy plows to clear the roads of all the hail which put a pretty big damper on travel for several hours. The town, which is about 100 miles east of Albuquerque, is used to the snow in the winter, but for many residents this was a first. But how unusual is this??

Likely to your surprise, it's not all that unusual. Accumulating hail happens quite often during the typical "warm" months in higher elevations of the west. This is simply due to their higher elevation and that the freezing level is closer to the ground, therefore hail that forms in a thunderstorm and falls has a better chance of reaching the surface before melting. But a foot or more of hail is pretty rare. There was one recorded case last year in the panhandle of Texas where so much hail fell that there were actual hail drifts on the side of a creek bed nearly 6 feet high as seen in this picture.

All of the hail in Santa Rosa still has not melted more than 3 days later. It took over 10 days of blistering heat in the Texas panhandle to melt all of the hail from the storm in 2012. Some of the information and pictures in this blog were provided by KQRE in Albuquerque and The Weather Channel.

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