Augusta County is no stranger to large hail

Window broken
Window broken(Berg Family)
Published: Jun. 20, 2022 at 10:53 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - A supercell thunderstorm in April of 2022 dropped several inches of hail through parts of Augusta county, the storm was also responsible for straight-line wind damage and a tornado. However in the 1980s there were also two really bad hail storms also in Augusta County.

Augusta County is no stranger to large hail In the 1980s there were two storms that produced large and damaging hail. One in 1987 and the other in 1989.

1989

August 24, 1989. High temperatures were in the mid to upper 80s across the area. There were several strong thunderstorms. In Rockingham county, about 3″ of rain fell in only an hour. That led to flooding and washed out some bridges in Bridgewater. There was also flooding in other parts of the county as well as some spots in Augusta County.

According to the National Weather Service reports the severe thunderstorm led to damage in Augusta county from Staunton to Fishersville. There were many trees down, power poles snapped, and fences ripped out of the ground. Several barns were also unroofed.

NWS has “winds sustained at 75 mph for 10 minutes” in their official report. “Golf Ball to baseball size hail broke many windows, and 2.5″ of rain in less than one hour flooded some roads and washed debris into others.”

Now was this a tornado? While we can’t say for sure, it was more than likely a microburst.

In Highland County, 6″ of rain in only two hours led to flash flooding in the Bullpasture and Cowpasture river valleys. This is between McDowell and the Bath County line. NWS states, “the flooding washed out several sections of road pavement and carried large boulders onto some roads.” The damage estimated there at about $25,000.

We do not have photos or video of the damage from the 1989 storm. If you happen to have photos of the hail that you would like to send to us, you can upload any photos here. We always appreciate looking through old weather photos or video.

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Accumulating hail

1987

On July 6, 1987 a thunderstorm dropped large hail causing extensive damage through part of Augusta county. Now we don’t have many details from this storm. According to the report from the National Weather Service hail was 1-2″ in diameter. That’s quarter to golf ball size and not quite tennis ball size. The damage was estimated to be up to $9 million.

According to NWS, “the hail broke a large number of windows, damaged cars, houses and traffic lights and destroyed gardens.”

On the same day in Augusta County, a man in Waynesboro was injured from a lightning strike as he stepped out of a pool.

Aric Berg who also works for WHSV amazingly found family photos of the damage in Waynesboro from the hail storm. Here are some of those photo:

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