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Ingredients for Spring Peas

Posted at 6:06 PM, Mar 21, 2019

Showers and thundershowers were around to greet us on this first full day of spring. Some of the heartier showers produced briefly and locally heavy rain, gusty winds, and small HAIL. Most of the hail was the size of peas, and only lasted for a few minutes.

Pea-size hail in Eubank this afternoon. Photo courtesy of LEX 18 viewer Beverly Ritchey.

So how did we get those spring peas today? The recipe wasn’t anything too out of the ordinary.

Following the initial push of rain this morning the sun came out. The strong March sun started to warm the ground, developing instability in the process.

Meanwhile very cold air moved in aloft. An upper-level low across southern Ohio sent the colder air south and added a little extra lift. The “warmer” air near the ground started to rise. The interaction between the rising warmer air and the very cold air aloft led to the thundershowers. There was also rising motion inside the clouds, which lofts ice crystals into the higher levels of the clouds. On the way down the hail stone melts but will continue to grow on each trip up through the clouds. The rising motion wasn’t that strong so hail only the size of pea mixed with the rain on the way down.