Lightning, rain and hail from Saturday morning storms

POSTED: 8:31 AM Mar 23 2013   UPDATED: 9:02 AM Mar 23 2013
Hail Abilene
ABILENE, Texas -

Thunderstorms began forming near I-20 about 3 AM Saturday morning.  Some of the stronger storms brought lots of mainly small hail - enough to cover the ground in parts of Abilene just before 5 AM.  (Thanks to the Marsh family for the picture.)

We did receive one report of quarter size hail in the downtown area of Abilene.  We also received a report of hail between the size of a pea and a dime falling near the Mall of Abilene.

Most all of Abilene received the first good rain since late February.  Rainfall reports from fire stations in Abilene ranged from .85" at station 2 on the southeast side of town to .31" at station 4 on the northwest side of the city.

The rain gauge at the Abilene Regional Airport measured .56" and Dyess AFB reported exactly 1/2 of an inch.  Our Stormtrackers in Clyde reported one inch of rainfall there and in Nolan .8" was reported.  Our site in Breckenridge measured .12" and .08" fell near Albany.  Only .02" was reported from Sweetwater Avenger Field.

Frequent cloud to ground lightning accompanied the stronger storms.  However, we have not received any reports of problems caused by the lightning -except for loss of sleep.

Rain chances are ending Saturday morning.  Sunshine and warmer temperatures are forecast for Saturday afternoon. 

A strong surge of cold air should blow in Saturday evening.  We could see temperatures near freezing over much of the Big Country Sunday morning.  A tender plant killing freeze is likely for Monday and Tuesday mornings.