AMARILLO, Tex. -- A couple passing through Texas got an unwelcome introduction to the severe weather season in the southern Plains when they were caught in a massive hail storm Sunday afternoon.
Sirai Hope Fullbright filmed the moment hail smashed down on her vehicle along an Amarillo highway as her partner Christian Aranda attempts to safely stop on the side of the road as you can hear hail pelting the car and windows. Storm spotters reported hail ranging in size from golf ball to baseball.
"The window's going to bust!" Fullbright shouted. "What do we do?!?"
The first item on your list if caught outside driving when a large hail storm erupts is to find a shelter such a parking garage or gas station canopy, if available.
If away from any shelter, as this couple found themselves, Aranda had the right idea in stopping the car and pulling over. Driving compounds the hail stones' impact with your car, according to hail safety tips from the Oklahoma Department of Transportation.
However, while stopping under an overpass may look enticing, safety experts say don't stop there as you may create accidents on the highway. Also, don't head for ditches as heavy rains from the storm may quickly cause water levels to rise.
Instead, pull well off the road and angle your car to where the windshield is facing the hail.
"Windshields are reinforced to withstand forward driving and pelting objects," the Oklahoma DOT says. "Side windows and back glass are not, they’re easier to break."
Safety experts suggest lying down in your car seat and keep your back to the windows if possible. Also cover yourself with any available items such as a blanket, jacket or sweatshirt to keep any broken glass from hitting you.
And as frightening as it might be to stay in the car and be tempted to make a run for shelter, experts stress to stay in your car until the hail passes. Hailstones at golf ball to baseball size in diameter can fall up to 60-70 mph, with larger stones approaching 100 mph fall speeds. That can cause serious injury.
"Your car will provide reasonable protection," the DOT says.