Ever since the February 22nd, 2016 hail storm in Del Rio, Texas, in which one of my trucks was spontaneously morphed into a block of aged Swiss cheese, I've been a little more cautious about where I park my vehicles when we're expecting some bad weather.
I think the neighbors have caught on too...late nights when I randomly move my truck up on the lawn and park it under my pecan tree, the neighborhood starts coming out, one-by-one, moving their vehicles into strange places hoping to protect them from the next hail storm. One of my employees just drives his to the car-wash garage and waits out the storm. I guess if the weatherman does it, then he must know something.
While the fall season in Del Rio isn't nearly as active, atmospherically speaking, as the springtime, it certainly brings an increased chance of another hail storm. The hot summer months make the region too warm for hail, and the jet stream, which generally fuels dangerous storm outbreaks, is pushed much further north. But during the fall, winter sits on the horizon as the jet stream creeps further south and replaces the hot, humid temperatures of the summer with cool, crisp air from the north. The interaction between these two masses of air is what aids in the development of dangerous storms...which require cool air aloft and warm air near the earth's surface.
There's usually a dangerous storm or two during the fall season through South-Central Texas. Heavy rain and flooding is the most deadly of these storms, looking back through historical records, and we've already had a couple of these the past few months. But yes, a hail storm - even a tornado - may be spotted on the Laughlin Air Force Base radar screen in and around the Del Rio & Acuña area this season.
If we're fortunate, I won't be parking my truck under any pecan tree this season, I'll reserve that for the springtime.
- Dan, the Weatherman
Dan Schreiber is a freelance meteorologist with experience