22 June 2003 - Record Hail in Nebraska

GOES-12 visible image - Click to enlarge

GOES-12 visible image

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GOES-12 IR image - Click to enlarge

GOES-12 10.7um IR image

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Record-setting hail (6.5-7.0 inches in diameter) was reported at Aurora in Hamilton county Nebraska around 00:05 UTC on 23 June 2003 (7:05 PM Central time on 22 June 2003). The convection that produced this large hail was also responsible for several reports of tornadoes and damaging winds across that region. NOAA GOES-12 visible imagery (above, left) revealed that this convection was initiated along the western edge of a region of stable boundary layer wave clouds over southeastern Nebraska (remnants of a convective outflow from earlier in the day). GOES-12 10.7 micrometer InfraRed (IR) imagery (above, right) depicted classic, long-lived "enhanced-v" cloud top signatures with this convection.

Cloud top temperatures detected by GOES-12 (below, center) cooled quickly as the convection intensified, becoming colder than the regional tropopause temperatures (-63 to -65 C) by 00:15 UTC, and colder than -70 C after 00:45 UTC. Higher spatial resolution data from the polar orbiting AVHRR revealed even colder cloud top temperatures associated with the overshooting tops of these storms -- NOAA-12 measured -78 C at 23:16 UTC (below, left); NOAA-15 measured -87 C at 00:25 UTC (below, right), which was close to the time that large hail and the Deshler Nebraska F2 tornado were reported. A fatality from the Deshler tornado was the first tornado-related fatality in Nebraska since 1988.

GOES-12/NOAA-12 IR image - Click to enlarge

GOES-12/NOAA-12 IR image
(23:15/23:16 UTC 22 Jun)

GOES-12 temperature plot - Click to enlarge

GOES-12 temperatures
(22:10 - 01:25 UTC)

GOES-12/NOAA-15 IR image - Click to enlarge

GOES-12/NOAA-15 IR image
(00:15/00:25 UTC 23 Jun)


GOES sounder PW - Click to enlarge

GOES sounder PW

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GOES sounder LI - Click to enlarge

GOES sounder LI

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Single field of view (SFOV) GOES sounder derived products (above) revealed that the pre-convective environment across eastern Nebraska became increasingly moist (Precipitable Water values of 40-50 mm) and unstable (Lifted Index values of -8 to -12 C) during the afternoon hours. Regional rawinsonde data (below) also showed that favorable wind shear profiles were in place across eastern Nebraska and Kansas to support severe convection.

North Platte NE rawinsonde data - Click to enlarge

North Platte NE rawinsonde data

Topeka KS rawinsonde data - Click to enlarge

Topeka KS rawinsonde data

Omaha NE rawinsonde data - Click to enlarge

Omaha/Valley NE rawinsonde data


Additional information on this event is available from the National Weather Service office at Hastings, Nebraska. GOES-12 visible images and animations are also available at the NASA Earth Observatory site.


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