Hail the Size of Basketballs: A Celebration of the Unusual

In this blog post, we celebrate the unusual by looking at some of the most bizarre hailstone sizes on record. From softball-sized hailstones to those the size of golf balls these weather events are sure to amaze!

The size of hail

In the spring and summer, thunderstorms can bring large chunks of ice raining down from the sky, a phenomenon known as hail. While most hail stones are small enough to cause little more than a gentle pat on the head, some hailstones can grow to be the size of a softball — or even bigger.

According to the National Weather Service, the largest hailstone on record fell in South Dakota in 2010, and it measured an impressive 8 inches in diameter. That’s about the size of a cantaloupe! Thankfully, no one was injured by this giant piece of ice, but hailstones that size can cause serious damage to property.

Hailstones are formed when updrafts in thunderstorms lift water droplets high into the atmosphere. These droplets freeze into ice pellets, which are then blown around by strong winds within the storm. As they are carried upwards and downwards within the storm, they collect more water droplets and grow in size. Some hailstones can grow to be as heavy as 2 pounds before falling from the sky.

While large hailstones are certainly impressive, they are not typically large enough to do serious damage to humans. In fact, most people who are hit by hail stones report only minor injuries, such as bruises or cuts. However, hailstones can cause serious damage to property, especially if they are large enough to break windows or dent cars.

If you find yourself caught in a thunderstorm with large hail stones falling from the sky, it’s important to seek shelter immediately. Find a sturdy building or car to protect yourself from the falling ice. And if you’re caught outside without shelter, try to find a low-lying area such as a ditch or culvert to crouch in until the storm passes.

The damage hail can cause

While most people think of hail as a nuisance, the reality is that this form of severe weather can cause a lot of damage. Hailstones can range in size from as small as a pea to as large as a softball, and they fall from the sky at speeds of up to 100 miles per hour When hail hits something like a windshield, it can cause chips and cracks that can quickly turn into expensive repairs.

The science behind hail

Hail is one of the most destructive weather phenomena. It has been known to destroy crops, shatter windshields, and cause serious injuries. But what is hail, and how does it form?

Hail is a form of precipitation that occurs when air rises very quickly and cools. This can happen when a cold front moves in, or when there is a thunderstorm. When the air rises quickly, it expands and cools. This causes water droplets to condense and turn into ice pellets. These pellets then fall to the ground as hail.

The size of hail depends on the strength of the updraft, as well as the temperature of the air. If the updraft is strong and the air is warm, then the hailstones will be small. However, if the updraft is weak and the air is cold, then the hailstones will be large.

Basketball-Sized Hail is not unheard of, but it is rare. The largest hailstone ever recorded was 17.5 inches in diameter and weighed almost 2 pounds!

How to stay safe during a hail storm

Hailstorms can be dangerous, but there are some things you can do to stay safe If you are caught in a hailstorm:

-Take cover immediately. Find a solid structure that will protect you from the hail, such as a building or a car.
-Stay away from windows. Glass can break and cause injuries.
-Do not try to outrun the storm. Hail can fall at speeds of up to 100 miles per hour so it is not safe to be outside during a hailstorm.
-After the storm has passed, check for injuries and damage. If anyone has been injured, call 911. If there is damage to your property, call your insurance company.

The most unusual hailstone on record

The most unusual hailstone on record fell in The Hague, Netherlands on September 13, 1986. It was 17.8 centimeters (7 inches) in diameter and weighed 220 grams (7.8 ounces).

How hailstones are formed

What causes hailstones to grow to the size of baseballs or softballs? Meteorologist Scott Dimmich says it has to do with how long they’re carried aloft by updrafts in thunderstorms.

“The hailstones start out as little tiny pieces of ice,” Dimmich says. “And as they get lofted up into the thunderstorm, they are subjected to very strong updrafts.”

Those updrafts can reach speeds of 100 miles an hour or more. And as the hailstones get whipped around inside the thunderstorm, they grow — picking up more and more water droplets.

The biggest hailstone ever recorded

In August of 2010, a hailstorm swept across South Dakota Nebraska, and Iowa, inflicting millions of dollars in damage. But the most remarkable thing to come out of that storm wasn’t the property damage, it was a hailstone that fell in Vivian, South Dakota Measuring in at an astonishing 8 inches in diameter and weighing 1 pound 9 ounces, it is officially the largest hailstone ever recorded.

The most destructive hail storm in history

On July 23, 2010, a thunderstorm moved through the Denver area, dumping large hail that in some cases was the size of basketballs. The most destructive hail storm in history, it caused an estimated $2.3 billion in damage to homes, businesses and vehicles.

How to prepare for a hail storm

Hail the size of basketballs is not an everyday occurrence, but it does happen. If you live in an area that is prone to severe weather, it is important to be prepared for a hail storm. Here are some tips to help you protect your property and stay safe during a hail storm.

In the days leading up to a storm, bring any patio furniture or other outdoor items inside. If possible, park your car in a garage or covered parking area.

During the storm, stay away from windows and avoid being outside. If you are driving, pull over and stop until the hail subsides.

After the storm, inspect your property for damage. If you find any damage, take photos and contact your insurance company as soon as possible.

What to do after a hail storm

What to do after a hail storm
After a hail storm, it’s important to assess the damage to your property and make sure that any repairs are made as soon as possible. Here are some tips on what to do after a hail storm:

1. Check for damage to your roof, gutters, and downspouts. If you see any damage, contact a roofing contractor to have it repaired.
2. Inspect your windows and doors for cracks or holes. If you find any damage, seal or replace the damaged areas as soon as possible.
3. Look for dents in your car. If you find any, take your car to a body shop to have the damage repaired.
4. Check your yard for downed trees or branches. If you see any, remove them from your property as soon as possible.
5. Inspect your home’s siding for cracks or holes. If you find any damage, repair the area as soon as possible with new siding or caulking.

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