Have you ever wondered about the size of the largest hailstone ever recorded? Imagine a chunk of ice falling from the sky that’s larger than a softball! It’s hard to believe, isn’t it? But it’s a fact. The largest hailstone ever measured fell in Vivian, South Dakota, USA, on July 23, 2010. It had a whopping diameter of 20 cm (8 inches) and weighed an astonishing 0.88 kg (1.94 lbs). To better understand the magnitude of this icy behemoth, let’s dive deeper into the world of hailstones and make some interesting size comparisons.
To help us comprehend the size of the largest hailstone, let’s compare it with everyday objects:
Hailstones are balls or irregular lumps of ice that fall from the sky as a type of precipitation. They’re quite different from snowflakes, ice pellets, or graupel. Hailstones are usually between 5 mm (0.2 inches) and 15 cm (6 inches) in diameter. However, as we’ve seen, some can be even larger!
The Vivian hailstone, as it’s known, broke all previous records. Before this, the largest hailstone ever recorded in the United States fell in Aurora, Nebraska, in 2003, and it was 17.8 cm (7 inches) in diameter. The Vivian hailstone wasn’t just record-breaking in terms of size and weight. It also came from a particularly severe storm. This storm produced a slew of other large hailstones, some of which were nearly as large as the record-breaker itself.
Hailstones are fascinating natural phenomena, and their size can range from tiny ice pellets to massive, record-breaking ice balls like the Vivian hailstone. The size of the largest hailstone, at 20 cm (8 inches) in diameter, truly puts into perspective the incredible power of nature. The next time you’re caught in a hailstorm, remember the record-breaking hailstone and consider yourself lucky if the hailstones falling around you are only the size of peas!
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