A NWS storm survey team surveyed Barren, Metcalfe, Green, Adair, and Russell counties. Several pine trees were down within the hail path, but likely due to straight-line winds. Several people reported seeing a funnel cloud, including Russell County Emergency Management personnel, who chased the funnel cloud to Highway 80 toward Pulaski County. No tornado damage was found, but that area did suffer extensive large hail damage. The most significant hail damage was found in and near Columbia in Adair County. Along one stretch of roadway from the Metcalfe/Adair county line to the city of Columbia, not one vehicle was found that did not have its windshield damaged. In the city of Columbia, one house had hail break through the roof and a Wal-Mart store had 160 skylights damaged.
Hail in Columbia. Photo courtesy Kristy Keene
Below is a radar image of the storm as it was hitting the south side of Columbia. The very bright colors indicate large hail. The blue colors shooting off to the southeast represent a "hail spike" or "scatter spike" which is sometimes seen on radar displays when the radar beam strikes very large, wet hail. In an area of large hail, radiation from the radar can bounce from hailstone to hailstone before being reflected back to the radar. The time delay between the backscattered radiation from the storm and the bounced and scattered radiation from the large hail causes the reflectivity from the hail to appear to come from a farther range than the actual storm.
Below is a set of 3D images that show the core of hail aloft during the same time as the storm pictured above. The white core indicates 70 dBZ returns, which is indicative of large hail aloft. Hail the size of golf balls and larger was reported with this storm. The sequence of pictures shows the storm moving to the east.