Hail storm damage last year cost more for Texas residents than any year before. March and April alone saw more than $4 billion in hail damage across the state. That easily doubled the record set the previous year.
These record losses came in the form of property damage to buildings and vehicles. Roofs saw significant shingle loss. Decks and porches took a hit. Even golf courses saw significant divot damage due to the impact of huge hail stones on the fairways.
Considering how mild our winter was, you might be wondering if we can expect these same weather conditions for 2017 as well. According to meteorologists, this may be the case – all because of heavy wind drafts and hot air.
Thunderstorms are often accompanied by huge wind drafts. Some of these drafts travel high into the atmosphere. These drafts can carry water into areas below freezing. This causes the water droplets to freeze, forming ice pellets, which then fall back to the ground as hail.
Larger thunderstorms, like the type seen regularly on the Texas plains, tend to have larger updrafts and, subsequently, more hail. That's why Texas leads the nation in hail damage claims every year.
Meteorologists have put out warnings that 2017 could be another year for severe hailstorms. This is all thanks to the La Nina effect plaguing the nation.
During La Nina years, hotter, more humid air settles over the Southern Plains. When colder, dryer air comes down from the North, this creates the perfect atmosphere for large thunderstorms to develop. And they can bring large hailstorms in their wake.
Occasionally, however, meteorologists can miss hailstorms entirely.
The March 23 hailstorm that hit Garland, Texas, last year was completely missed by meteorologists until after it was over. Radar didn't indicate hail in that part of the North Dallas. Subsequently, meteorologists were concentrating on other areas where radar indicated potential hail.
The reality on the ground was quite different. Property owners in Garland were seeing hail as big as 2 inches hitting their buildings and vehicles. This led to millions of dollars in insurance claims.
A building's roof is its first line of protection against hail. It will sustain the most damage in a major hail storm. Broken shingle edges, surface fractures and punctures occur as the hail comes down.
If you want to protect your property and your roof from damage this hail season, you need to bring in a qualified roofing inspector. The inspector will examine the condition of your roof and make recommendations for necessary repairs or replacement.
The good news is that, if your roof needs repair, there are new roofing options available that can help protect your home from hail damage this season and next.
Want to get an estimate on your roofing needs? Give us a call!