Stories tagged hail


A new record hail stone fell on 23 July 2010 near Vivian SD!

It is 8-inch in diameter hail stone and weighs 1.9375 pounds.

The old record heaviest U.S. hailstone was a 1.67-pound found near Coffeyville, KS on Sep. 3, 1970. The old record for the largest diameter hailstone was 7 inches found in Aurora, NE on June 22, 2003. This Aurora, NE hailstone still holds the U.S. record for circumference: 18.75 inches. The Vivian, SD hailstone circumference was only 18.5".

Here is a photo of the stone

Hail is precipitation in the form of large balls or lumps of ice. Hailstones begin as small ice particles that grow primarily by accretion. The production of large hail requires a strong updraft that is tilted and an abundant supply of supercooled water. Because strong updrafts are required to generate large hailstones, it is not surprising to observe that hail is not randomly distributed in a thunderstorm; instead it occurs in regions near the strong updraft. Supercell thunderstorms, in which the strongest updrafts are created with help from the mesocyclone, often produce the largest hail.
Eventually, though, the weight of the hailstone overcomes the strength of the updraft, and it falls to earth. The curtain of hailstones that falls below the cloud base is called the hailshaft. These regions are often said to appear green to observers on the ground, although recent research suggests that heavy rain as well as hail can create this optical phenomenon. As the storm moves, it generates a hailswath, a section of ground covered with hail.

Hailstorms can severely damage crops, automobiles, and roofs. Sometimes the swath can be so big you can see it on the ground from a satellite


Flooding in Indiana forces evacuations

Storms dumped as much as 10 inches of rain on already-soggy central Indiana on Saturday, threatening dams, inundating highways and sending the Coast Guard to rescue residents from swamped homes. (The INDY channel)

Baseball sized hail in Wisconsin

A powerful line of storms in Wisconsin dropped baseball-size hail on central and southeastern parts of the state, blowing roofs off homes and knocking down trees and power lines. CNN

Tornadoes in NW Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Chicago

The storm leveled eight barns at a turkey farm near Menahga, MN. killing thousands of turkeys. No human deaths have been reported.


Hail, hail this piece of hail: This is the world-record hailstone that fell in Aurora, Nebraska, in 2003. It has a diameter of seven inches and circumfrence of nearly 19 inches.
Hail, hail this piece of hail: This is the world-record hailstone that fell in Aurora, Nebraska, in 2003. It has a diameter of seven inches and circumfrence of nearly 19 inches.Courtesy NOAA
In the Twin Cities area, we’ve had some pretty impressive hail storms lately, at least if you’re measuring by frequency and intensity. Today’s Star Tribune has a nice round up on our surge in hail activities.

So what is hail any way, besides the sound of green to auto glass replacement and body shop companies?

Hail is formed when storm clouds supercool water droplets into frozen masses around particles of dust. The formation of thunderstorms is the ideal circumstance for creating hail. Updrafts in the storm’s formation blow the hail up into the thunderhead for a little while. Then the hail descends in the cloud, collects more moisture and becomes a bigger piece of ice when another updraft blasts it back up into the thunderhead. When those updrafts subside or the ice gets too big and heavy, the hail comes pelting back down to Earth on us, our vegetation and cars.

In the U.S., “Hail Alley” is located there Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming converge. Worldwide, deadly hail storms have been recorded in India and China.

Before you start to think our recent hail storms here in the Twin Cities have been impressive, consider these storms:

• Around the 9th century, several hundred pilgrims were killed by a massive hailstorm in Roopkund, Uttarakhand, India.

• July 11, 1990, in Denver, Colorado, softball-sized hail destroyed roofs and cars, causing $625 million in total damage.

• April 14, 1999, in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, $1.5 billion was done spread across 20,000 properties and 40,000 vehicles. In addition, more than 25 aircraft were damaged at Sydney Airport.

• July 19, 2002, Henan Province, China, resulted in 25 dead and hundreds injured.

• June 22, 2003, saw the largest hailstone on record fall in Aurora, Nebraska, It has a 7-inch diameter and a circumference of 18.75 inches.

Itching to learn more about hail? Here's a link to the Wikipedia page of all things hail.