May 2017 North Carolina hailstorm
Hail accumulation near Apex, North Carolina
Type Severe storm, hail storm
Formed May 11, 2017
Dissipated May 12, 2017
Largest hail 6.8" - Holly Springs, North Carolina
Maximum rainfall 5.1" - Raleigh, North Carolina
Damage $500,000
Power outages at least 1,000
Casualties 2 reported
Late on May 11, 2017, a severe hailstorm took place in Raleigh, North Carolina in a squall line thunderstorm. The thunderstorms did not produce any confirmed tornadoes, but consistent reports of grapefruit-size hail occurred throughout central North Carolina.

Meteorological History

Early on May 11, 2017, the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) issued an enhanced risk for severe weather in central North Carolina and a moderate risk for severe weather in southeastern North Carolina. The SPC noted that the tornado risk was below average, but the hail risk "was perhaps the highest seen in recent years." A squall line developed near Winston-Salem, North Carolina around 6:30 PM EDT on May 11, and began moving eastward over the coming hours. At around 8:00 PM, the line crossed through Wake County and began producing heavy hail throughout the county.

While most hail events are somewhat localized, this hailstorm was unique in the fact that nearly all of Wake County saw at least pea-sized hail for a period of time. In southern Wake County, the hail was largest, where "grapefruit-sized hail was reported for a whole 5 minutes." The hail accumulated in areas, with the towns of Apex and Holly Springs receving nearly an inch of hail accumulation - resembling a blanket of snow. As a result of the hail, which damaged many structures, Wake County Public Schools closed on May 12.