WRAL WeatherCenter Blog

Did you enjoy our April snow?

Posted May 1, 2015

We were driving back from my son's track meet in downtown durham at 6:30PM.  When we pulled onto Massey Chapel Road from 751 (about half mile southwest of SouthPoint Mall) we started seeing strange patches of white along the road and on people's homes.  When we got out to see what it was, we realized it was hail.  The end of the video shows my 7 year old daughter Grace Pressinger (1st Grade student at Creekside Elementary) picking the hail.  What was amazing is that the large amount of hail was only concentrated in a 3-4 block area and was apparently very quick and intense.  Any questions feel free to call at (919) 908-1542.

I attached a still pic from the video
The video size was 100MB and could not upload.
I have a higher quality video at the link below. 
My apologies - the pixels width was on the lower 842 pixel wide setting.
Link to view video is:

— Did you see it?

Chances are, you probably did and didn’t even know it.

According to the National Weather Service – and a quirk in how data are collected and reported – it “snow"ed in Raleigh Thursday afternoon.

But how could that be? There were no snowmen. No sounds of kids sledding down the big hill at the end of the road. No schools were canceled.

And yet, there it is: A trace of “snow” was reported at the NWS’s office on NC State’s Centennial Campus. “Snow” in quotation marks, that is.

You probably know that when official weather records are compiled, the NWS records both snow and sleet – precipitation that falls in a frozen form – into the same category of “snow." However, you might not know that hail – another form of precipitation that falls in a frozen form – is also lumped into the “snow” category in those same weather records.

A trace of 'snow' measured in Raleigh April 30, 2015

The same thing happened in Washington, D.C., with storms there Thursday, the big difference being that it occurred over one of the first-order weather stations that collects both data for hourly observations and daily climate data, so we have hourly data with the hail observation to go with the full-day report.

If you were jonesing for the real snow, you didn’t have to go far last night. Mt. Mitchell, N.C., recorded half an inch of snow overnight – the first May snow at the peak since 2006.


Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all