National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

The Spartanburg, South Carolina, Hailstorm

of 20 August 1999

NOAA/National Weather Service
Greer, SC


Baseball-sized hail near Spartanburg, South Carolina, on 20 August 1999

Hail up to the size of baseballs fell on the west side of Spartanburg, South Carolina, on 20 August 1999.

Author's Note: The following report has not been subjected to the scientific peer review process.

Several classic supercell thunderstorms moved southeast across Upstate South Carolina and the southern North Carolina Mountains Friday, 20 August 1999. One of the stronger storms moved directly over the city of Spartanburg, South Carolina. Fortunately no tornadoes were spawned, likely due to light winds in the lower few thousand feet of the atmosphere, and the lack of any pre-existing boundaries. However, tremendous hail was produced, as evidenced by the above picture, taken on the west side of Spartanburg shortly after the storms moved through. Weather radar showed a classic supercell with a hook-shaped appendage when it was several miles south of the city, shown below.

KGSP reflectivity at four lowest elevation angles at 2203 UTC on 20 August 1999

Base reflectivity from the KGSP radar at 2203 UTC on 20 August 1999. Elevation scans are at 0.5 degrees (upper left), 1.5 degrees (upper right), 2.4 degrees (lower left), and 3.4 degrees (lower right). Click on image to enlarge.