The large hail that pounded parts of Dallas County Wednesday night could be one for the record books.
The storms that dropped the heavy hail on Northpark Shopping Center, the Lakewood neighborhood of east Dallas, plus Irving and Grand Prairie could rank near the top in terms of damage.
The Insurance Council of Texas says damage figures may even be higher than the April 3rd storms, when 12 tornadoes raked across North Texas, dropping hail along the way. Losses from that storm are estimated at $400 million.
Eric Martello, forecaster at the National Weather Service in Fort Worth, says this was a major hailstorm, but it won’t top the biggest ever – Mayfest 1995 – softball size hail and $1.6 billion in damage.
“It wasn’t quite as bad, but there’s still quite a bit of damage,” Martello said. “Especially in areas that did get hit the hail was significantly large enough to cause quite a bit of damage.”
Martello says the conditions were perfect for a hailstorm: very strong updraft winds to carry moisture high enough to freeze and keep it aloft long enough to aggregate into good sized hail stones.
“And they produced some hail up to baseball. I think there was even one report of softball size hail,” he said.
Insurance companies have labeled the storm a catastrophe, which is a call for insurance adjusters throughout the state to head to North Texas to help out with the high volume of claims.