As severe weather continued Thursday through the Great Plains, residents of a southwest Texas town reported a dramatic temperature drop on Wednesday and hail so deep they had to deploy snow plows to clear the streets.

The temperature in Marathon, Texas, fell more than 50 degrees on Wednesday afternoon as thermometers tumbled from around 105 degrees to the mid-50s in about an hour, Brian Curran, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service Midland, Texas, told ABC News.

Curran attributed the wild decline in temperature to the severe hail storm that hit Marathon.

PHOTO: A hail storm is shown outside the Gage Hotel in Marathon, Texas, on May 29, 2024.

A hail storm is shown outside the Gage Hotel in Marathon, Texas, on May 29, 2024.

Noah Davidson/Gage Hotel

“It was like an air conditioner,” Curran said.

Brad Wilson, chief of the Marathon Fire Department, told ABC News that it was as if conditions turned from summer to winter in an hour.

“There was about two feet of hail on our main street right in the center of town. It looked like snow,” Wilson said. “We went out there with a tape measure last night before the road crews came and plowed the roads.”

Wilson said the town also recorded about 2 1/5 inches of rain in an hour on Thursday.

PHOTO: Extreme temperature swings in US history

Extreme temperature swings in US history

ABC News Photo Illustration

“It was interesting,” Wilson said.

Hail is typically a warm-season event. As heat develops during the day, thunderstorms form and the updraft in the thunderstorms pushes supercooled droplets to the top of the cloud where it is very cold. Hail circulates in the cloud until it is too heavy to resist gravity and falls to the ground.

Curran said temperature swings like the one in Marathon are common in Texas and can be even more dramatic.

In February 2022, the temperature in Austin plummeted from 88 to 32 in 24 hours, making it the biggest temperature swing recorded in the Texas capital, according to the National Weather Service.

PHOTO: In this screen grab from a video, an accumulation of hail is shown in Marathon, Texas, on May 29, 2024.

In this screen grab from a video, an accumulation of hail is shown in Marathon, Texas, on May 29, 2024.

Harry Weinman

The largest temperature swing recorded in the United States occurred Jan. 14-15 in Loma, Montana, when the temperature rose 103 degrees in 24 hours, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Severe storms over the Memorial Day weekend led to the deaths of at least 20 people across Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri and Kansas, according to officials in those states.

At least 25 tornadoes were reported across five states over the holiday weekend, according to officials.

Seven people died and more than 100 were injured in Valley View, Texas, about 60 miles northwest of Dallas as the severe weather, including several tornadoes, swept through the area Saturday night, said Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who issued disaster declarations for 106 counties.

PHOTO: In this photo posted to the FaceBook account of the Brewster County Sheriff's Office, an accumulation of hail is shown on the road in Brewster County, Texas, on May 29, 2024.

In this photo posted to the FaceBook account of the Brewster County Sheriff’s Office, an accumulation of hail is shown on the road in Brewster County, Texas, on May 29, 2024.

Brewster County Sheriff’s Office

Abbott said more than 200 homes or structures were destroyed and another 120 were damaged throughout the state.

The storms this week also left more than 600,000 customers of Oncor, Texas’ largest electrical provider, without power. As of Thursday afternoon, Oncor said it had restored power to more than 480,000 customers.

Severe weather and heavy rain are forecast for most of Texas and southeast Colorado for Thursday afternoon.

Texas cities from Lubbock to Abilene and San Angelo are at the highest risk of large hail, damaging winds and isolated tornadoes Thursday afternoon and into the evening.

Several flash flood warnings were issued Thursday north of Dallas as well as in New Orleans.

On Friday, the severe weather threat shifts slightly east to much of central and southeastern Texas and into the Lower Mississippi Valley.

ABC News’ Max Golembo and Melissa Griffin contributed to this report.



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