Major hailstorm drops rare softball-size hail near Appleton, Wisconsin

Softball-size hail fell just outside Appleton as severe thunderstorms pounded Wisconsin on Tuesday morning.

Russ Smith told the Wisconsin State Journal he was working at a construction site a couple of miles off of Appleton’s north side when hail the size of a softball and baseball fell for a “solid two minutes.

It was amazing watching it fall from the sky,” Smith said. “Words can’t describe what it looked like.

Hail up to the size of a baseball fell in parts of Brown, Outagamie and Waupaca counties.

A preliminary hail report of 4.5 inches Tuesday morning north of Appleton is a rare event in northeast Wisconsin.

The chart below shows that only four other occurrences of 4.5 inch or greater hail in the state of Wisconsin since 1950.

The line of fierce storms also brought heavy rain and wind to eastern Wisconsin Tuesday morning, and heavy rain, wind and smaller hail to south-central Wisconsin.

In Door County, trees and power lines were knocked down, and Highway 42 was closed between county Highway A and Gibraltar Road because a live wire was arcing on the roadway.

The National Weather Service reports 42 mph winds at Newport State Park in Ellison Bay.

Here some hail reports across the region:

  • Kimberly – 4 inches
  • N Appleton – 3 inches
  • Freedom – 2.75 inches
  • Mackville – 2.75 inches
  • Hortonville – 2 inches
  • Wrightstown – 2.5 inches
  • New London – 1.75 inch
  • Two Creeks – 1.75 inch
  • Appleton – 1.50 inch
  • Greenleaf – 1.50 inch
  • Kaukauna – 1.50 inch
  • Little Rapids – 1.50 inch
  • Wayside – 1.25 inch
  • Black Creek – 1 inch
  • Chilton – 1 inch
  • Oshkosh – 1 inch
  • Stephensville – 1 inch
  • Valders – 1 inch

The National Weather Service issued numerous storm warnings Tuesday, with Dane County among the counties under warnings late Tuesday morning.

Pea-size hail fell at Ten Pin Alley in Fitchburg as storms moved through dumping heavy rain on Dane County.

Authorities said as of 3 p.m. there were about 600 customers without power, down from the peak of 4,500 earlier in the day. By 8 p.m., power had been restored to nearly all customers, with only a handful still being in the dark. Crews also made repairs at about two dozen sites. In addition, the Sheriff’s Office says most of the power failures were caused by tree damage.

A severe thunderstorm watch was in effect until 6 p.m. [WBayMadison]