Fort Worth

Something frozen was falling from the sky this morning. What was it?

Hail near TCU in Fort Worth

A small amount of pelted streets near TCU. The hail lasted a few minutes and was the size of rock salt.
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A small amount of pelted streets near TCU. The hail lasted a few minutes and was the size of rock salt.

Drivers were greeted across Dallas-Fort Worth with tiny pellets of ice bouncing off their vehicles and the pavement Thursday morning.

How can you tell whether it was hail or sleet?

This time, it was a Sherlockian process of elimination that determined it was hail.

“It’s too warm (for sleet) plus we’re getting these tiny thunderstorms,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Matt Bishop. “With hail you can tell because it’s coming from storms that are convective in nature” (meaning a thunderstorm).

Hail reports popped up from Fort Worth, Benbrook, Dallas, Waxahachie and as far east as Palestine. The hail ranged from as small as a BB gun pellet to pea-size.

But Bishop conceded it’s hard to tell the difference between hail and sleet.

“It’s almost like a hybrid,” Bishop said.

It’s the start of a rainy pattern that will stick around through Saturday. There could be a slight chance of severe storms late Friday night or early Saturday morning but it just depends on where the storms develop, said weather service meteorologist Jason Dunn.

“If the front moves through before the storms fire up, all of the storms could be east of Dallas,” Dunn said. “The more to the west you go, the lesser the chances of storms.”

For runners taking part in the Cowtown Marathon events on Saturday morning, it will probably be best to check the forecast. Right now, there’s a chance of showers before 9 a.m. Saturday. But the weather looks good for Sunday.

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Bill Hanna is an award-winning reporter who has covered just about every beat at the Star-Telegram. He currently covers Arlington but also writes about a variety of subjects including weather, wildlife, traffic and health.