One Hail of a Storm

At first glance, it looks like snow ~ but look closer…  it’s hail.

Severe weather left piles of hail in Indianapolis over the weekend.  In some spots, it measured 10 inches deep!  And as you can imagine, there was damage to both vehicles and property.

While this hailstorm was definitely impressive, it didn’t set any records.

But these events did.

Costliest Hailstorms… There have been a few hailstorms that resulted in $1 billion or more in damages in the United States.  One of the costliest happened back in April 10th of 2001.  It happened along I-70 from eastern Kansas to southwestern Illinois.  The St. Louis area got pounded.  Property damage was greater than $2 billion.

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Deadliest… Even though hailstorms can do an incredible amount of damage, only a few people have actually been killed by hailstones in the U.S.  A farmer was caught in his field in Lubbock, Texas, on May 13, 1930.  Then in 1979, a baby was struck by large hail in Fort Collins, Colorado.  Finally, a boater on Lake Worth, Texas, was killed by hail on March 29, 2000.

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Largest Stones… The largest officially recognized hailstone on record to have been ‘captured’ in the U.S. was one that fell near Vivian, South Dakota, during the summer of 2010.  It measured 8.0″ in diameter, 18 1/2″ in circumference, and weighed in at 1.9375 pounds.  The man who collected the monster stone is named Lee Scott.  He said he wanted to make daiquiris out of the hailstone but instead placed it in a freezer before turning it over to the National Weather Service.

hail1

Before the South Dakota hailstone claimed the record, there was the Aurora, Nebraska, hailstone.  I actually covered the storm when I worked in Omaha, Nebraska from 2001 to 2004.  A thunderstorm pounded the small Nebraska town on June 22nd.  It was a seven-inch (17.8 centimeter) wide chunk of ice almost as big as a soccer ball.

(sources:  NBC, National Geographic, Weather Underground, NOAA)

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