CARTERVILLE (WSIL) -- Residents in some communities saw storms that dropped sizeable hail on Wednesday.
"Of course we were out enjoying barbecue just because the weather was nice, we went inside when we noticed it was starting to get a little cloudy out."
Taylor Kueker, who lives in Pinckneyville, said she and her family were enjoying the sunshine Wednesday afternoon. Of course, that same sunshine and heat would fuel thunderstorms later that evening.
"We had record, or near record heat, and that was enough fuel to pop thunderstorms before the organized line got here. That organized line would've brought the big winds, we saw that move through central Indiana, and central Illinois," said WSIL Chief Meteorologist, Jim Rasor.
Kueker went on to say, "I heard it start raining, so we were closing windows and then all of a sudden, I have a tin roof, so I started to hear the hail hit... I've never experienced that. First it started out like pea size, we went out on the porch and kind of watched it. Then it just kept getting bigger. It got as you can see in the picture, pretty big, about quarter size, if not a little bigger."
Several key ingredients came together Wednesday afternoon to make that big hail possible.
"We saw there was a pocket of really cold air, and all the bouyancy that fed into that was based above the ground, not at the ground, and that's why we really thought big hail versus a tornado event," said Rasor.
Naturally, Kueker and others who spoke to News 3 were worried about damage to homes and vehicles.
"It sounded awful, I didn't know what was really going to happen at that point. Also, my car had a cracked windshield already, so I was trying to make sure that it wasn't going to get further damage... My fiance seems to think that there was some damage on the top of his truck, which I didn't really get to see because I'm too short."
As it turns out, the storms that brought hail, and several instances of damage, used up much of the energy in the atomosphere, protecting many communities from damaging winds later on that evening.
"But the storms that popped early in southeast Missouri and moved over, produced a lot of hail and some big hail for us, but it really kind of worked in our favor and kept the big winds away," said Rasor.
You can get real-time storm warnings, and send us your severe weather photos, with the Storm Track 3 weather app. The app is available both on the App Store and Google Play.