During a mid-July week with temperatures in the 90s, the town of Lenoir got what looked like a frosting of snow on Tuesday.
It was actually hail, blown in by one of the summer storms that Carolinians have learned to dread for their unpredictability.
In this case, however, that unpredictability was more freakish than fierce.
Hail the size of ping pong balls whacked Lenoir as severe storms swept through the Charlotte region on Tuesday afternoon, a National Weather Service meteorologist said. No injuries were reported.
Much smaller hail fell along the the Independence Boulevard corridor in Matthews.
The hail in Lenoir was about 1 1/2 inches, Scott Krentz, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Greer, S.C., said Tuesday night. The Lenoir hail was the largest that fell in the Charlotte region and N.C. mountains on Tuesday afternoon, he said.
Viewers sent in photos of the Lenoir hail to Observer news partner WBTV.
Pea-sized hail was reported in Black Mountain and Linville in the mountains, Krentz said.
Winds neared 50 mph during a storm that struck Independence Boulevard in Matthews, reported Brad Panovich, chief meteorologist at WCNC-TV.
More thunderstorms and hail smacked west Charlotte, uptown and other parts of the Queen City at about 8:45 p.m. Tuesday.
A massive tree fell in Plaza Midwood, WBTV reported. Flooding temporarily trapped a person in a car on North Tryon Street, according to reports on social media.
Charlotte reached a high of 91 degrees on Tuesday afternoon, Krentz said. The temperature remained at 90 degrees at 6:45 p.m. at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, according to the National Weather Service.
Hail storms are fairly common amid such summer temperatures in Charlotte, Krentz said.
“You’ll get a lot of thermal uplift with temperatures this warm, and get storms that are pretty strong and deep,” he said.