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Baseball-sized hail hits Norman, causing damage worth millions of dollars, Oklahoma

norman-oklahoma-hailstorm-april-2021

A severe storm moved through Norman City in Oklahoma at around 01:00 UTC on Thursday, April 29, 2021 (20:00 LT on Wednesday, April 28), bringing winds of up to 115 km/h (70 mph) and hail the size of a baseball. According to local media, the storm will likely result in damages worth millions of dollars as businesses and homes were badly hit.

Rain and storms began forming across central Oklahoma in the afternoon (LT), with a severe thunderstorm warning in place for Caddo County. By evening, residents in Norman reported hail up to 5 cm (2 inches) in diameter.

KFOR Chief Meteorologist Mike Morgan described the storm as 'essentially a hurricane with large hail,' as it caused extensive damage to homes, businesses, and vehicles. 

News 9 Chief Meteorologist David Payne said the storm is likely to be a multi-million-dollar storm as many windows were busted and cars were smashed throughout the city.

Winds of up to 115 km/h (70 mph) ripped through the area. Norman resident Beth Van Horn said the wind roared like a tornado, causing her and the neighborhood to think that a tornado might have hit the area.

The hail was the loudest she has ever heard, she told KOCO 5, as hailstones crashed through her windows.

Multiple windows at the Motel 6 were shattered, while several vehicles at the dealership had significant damage to their windshields. No injuries were reported.

"A slow-moving front, spanning from the Northeast westward to the Ohio Valley and then southwest to the Middle/Lower Mississippi Valley and the Southern Plains will move off the East and Gulf Coast by Saturday, May 1," NWS forecaster Ziegenfelder said.

The SPC has issued a Slight risk of severe thunderstorms from parts of the northern Mid-Atlantic to the Tennessee Valley/Southern Appalachians through Friday morning. The thunderstorms will have heavy rain associated with them. The main hazards are frequent lightning, high wind gusts, hail, and possible tornadoes.

The WPC has issued a Slight risk of excessive rainfall over the ArkLaTex region through the same period. The heavy rain will produce scattered areas of flash flooding, with urban areas, roads, and small streams being the most vulnerable.

Featured image credit: Pat Hyland

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