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Hail reported with Friday afternoon thunderstorms

Short-lasting showers and thunderstorms dropped small hail across northwest Ohio.

OHIO, USA — Friday afternoon thunderstorms caused some disruption across northwest Ohio with downpours, lightning and even some small hail. 

Several local baseball and softball matches fell victim to weather choosing to postpone. Mostly due to timing, not severity. 

Thunderstorms so far this season have been few and far between with a very quiet start to severe weather season surrounding Toledo. 

Credit: wtol

Hello hail!

As the afternoon thundershowers rolled through our area the First Alert Weather team started to receive several reports and photos of hail. 

This picture was taken by Steph Helmke of pea-sized hail near Jewell, Ohio. 

Credit: Steph Helmke

Viewer Katie Miller collected some impressive hail near Holgate at 3 p.m.

Credit: Katie Miller
Hail near Holgate, Ohio at 3 p.m. on May 7, 2021.

Kathy Heisinger from Delta loves a good thunderstorm and when she heard thunder, she was "so happy!" Until she went outside and saw it was a hailstorm. With a quick change to sun, Kathy says what we're all thinking, "Welcome to predictably unpredictable Ohio weather!"

Credit: Kathy Heisinger
"Welcome to predictably unpredictably Ohio weather," Kathy Heisinger says of the hailstorm that passed through the area, along with this photo submission from Delta on May 5, 2021!

The reason for the hail wasn't because these storms were well organized but rather the cold air in our atmosphere.

Credit: WTOL


First Alert Doppler scanned storms at their peak intensity, reaching up to 20,000 feet into the air. Compared to traditional severe storms which can grow to 40, 50 or event 60-thousand feet these thundershowers were relatively short. But they were tall enough to grow into the sub-freeze layer of our atmosphere overhead. Giving the chance for water drops to freeze and fall as hail. Most hail reported was around the size of peas. Severe hail criteria is quarter (coin) or larger. 

Quiet Severe Weather Season

Typical by early May northwest Ohio has at least been threatened by the chance for strong severe storms. That just hasn't been the case this year. With the jet stream positioned further south it's lead to many more severe weather episodes across the southern US. This is a map that shows all severe thunderstorm (yellow)  warnings so far this year.

Credit: WTOL

The few times it has ventured north and brought us warmer weather, other ingredients for severe weather just haven't lined up. The immediate outlook doesn't have a lot of severe weather potential in it either. But we will stay vigilant as we get deeper into May. 

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