Parts of northern Denton County reported hail as large as golf balls on Sunday.

The icy intruders were caused in part by a cold front traveling from the northwest into a relatively balmy North Texas, said meteorologist Patricia Sanchez with the National Weather Service.

The resulting temperature changes created meteorological instability.

That instability is necessary for hail to form. Because of that, hailstorms like Sunday’s are, perhaps counterintuitively, far more common during warmer weather, Sanchez said.

Hail in north Denton

Cat McCrory took this photo of some chunks of hail that fell in north Denton near Rayzor Ranch on Sunday.

Hail on Audra Lane

Karen Hayhurst-Shortnacy submitted this photo of washer-sized hail on Audra Lane in Denton on Sunday.

Hail in Aubrey

Sunday’s storm left behind these hailstones in Aubrey, in this photo submitted by Aaron Williams.

What might be classified as sleet or ice pellets during winter months can become the large clumps of ice we call “hail” in warmer periods.

Reports still were coming in Sunday evening, so Sanchez wasn’t completely sure the extent of the storm. She did say parts of Krum, Denton and Aubrey reported hailstones as large as quarters and golf balls.

Denton was under a severe thunderstorm watch for about an hour Sunday evening, but it was removed at 6:15 as the bulk of inclement weather moved east toward Collin County, where the storm appeared to worsen. The Dallas Morning News reported “volleys of pea- to golf-ball-sized hail” rained down on parts of McKinney, Frisco and Plano while weather sirens sounded.

Hail in a Denton garden

Resident Amber Briggle submitted this photo of her garden after Sunday’s storm blew through Denton. Briggle lamented: “We JUST put in our garden yesterday! My poor baby peas!”

As of Sunday evening, no reports of hail damage had made their way to Denton County officials, according to Jody Gonzalez, the county’s director of emergency services.

Despite reports and videos of violent storms across North Texas, weather should improve later in the week.

“We expect pretty nice weather, nice and sunny through most of the week,” Sanchez said. However, the area might see more storms late Thursday and Friday leading into the weekend.

MARSHALL REID can be reached at 940-566-6862 and via Twitter at @MarshallKReid.

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