It started to look like an early autumn around Morenci Saturday afternoon, except that all the fallen leaves were still green.
A long-lasting hailstorm about 1:30 p.m. Saturday left the ground white in some areas and streets littered with leaves that were knocked off trees.
The storm also left behind about an inch and a third of rain.
“That was the most unusual hailstorm that I can recall,” said George Isobar, climate observer in Morenci for the National Weather Service. “It seems as though it lasted 15 minutes. It just kept falling.”
When he called in his report to the weather service office in White Lake, he said he reported a mix of pea and marble size hail, but apparently that sort of description isn’t used anymore.
“So it’s half-inch? they asked.”
He confirmed it was, but there were many larger stones to be found here and there.
“I never saw anything near the one and three-quarters size that I read in a wire service news report about Morenci, but there were definitely some stones in excess of an inch,” he said.
He knows some gardens in town suffered heavy damage, but from what he’s heard, field damage was minor.
“There’s corn that was pretty beat up, but not destroyed,” Isobar said.
The hail apparently followed a rather narrow path. Fayette and Wauseon didn’t have the storm and a resident living north of Seneca didn’t observe any.
The unusual June weather continues. So far Isobar has observed thunderstorms on 11 days and hail from two of those storms. Rain has climbed over the five-inch mark.
A chance of thunderstorms is in the forecast for the remainder of the week.