Severe thunderstorms brought hail to several areas of northern Florida early Friday morning. Hail stones ranging in size from a nickel to almost the size of a baseball were found in Dowling Park, Mayo, Perry and Live Oak.
Robert Thon, a Live Oak resident, says, "Four o'clock in the morning, we awoke to a very, very loud rumbling sound, like there was a hundred people up on the roof working on the roof, banging on the roof at the same time."
The National Weather Service says the hail storm was quite unusual for Florida.
Bob Goree, a warning coordination meteorologist with NWS, says, "They developed very fast, very potent thunderstorms due to the cold air aloft, mainly. That lets the warm air below rise very quickly and form hail stones."
In Live Oak, the hail damaged the Thons' mobile home, a skylight, their cars, and many other belongings in their yard.
Thon has been storing some of the hail in his freezer. Hail gathered about 30 minutes after the storm was still a significant size. Even three and a half hours later, the hail was still visible on the ground.
Robert says, "We were not prepared for that type of situation, thinking it was just going to be a minor storm come through, a little bit of a rain storm. Fortunately, everybody came out okay."
Everybody, even their miniature horse that's only five days old, was ok. The hail storm lasted about 20 minutes.