Bowling Ball Size Hail Crashes Record

The clip above is from cloud9tours and shows some large hail from Texas. However, the hail got a lot bigger in South Dakota this past week. A new United States record was set on July 23 when a powerful thunderstorm produced lots of hail with a diameter of 6″+ including the record-setting stone that was 8 inches in diameter. To put this in perspective it was nearly the size of a bowling ball which is 8.5″ in diameter. The hail stone weighed a whopping 1.9375 pounds. The circumference was 18.62 inches around.

These measurements displace the previous hailstone record for weight, which was 1.67 pounds from a hailstone that fell in Coffeyville, KS in 1970. They also surpass the record for diameter, which was 7 inches for a hailstone found in Aurora, NE in 2003. The Aurora hailstone still holds the record for circumference of 18.75 inches. In order for a thunderstorm to produce a hailstone of that magnitude, the updraft feeding the thunderstorm needs to be moving upwards at 160 to 180 mph. It is calculated the hailstone fell out of the storm around 90 mph. Below is a picture of the record hailstone.

For a detailed look at the hailstone, the thunderstorm, and the weather set up that caused the record event. Take a look at the following link.

40/29 tried our own hail experiment by crafting a 2 pound ice chunk, similar to the record hailstone, and dropped it on a car from about 85 feet in the air. You can view the story at the link below.

Ross Ellet

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