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Vehicle dented by hail, Duane’s Body & Frame Shop

It’s time for some hail! I present you some of the the biggest whoppers of hailstones from all over the United States. While hail the size of quarter or smaller are common and sometimes annoying, quarter size hail can cause minor damage to a roof. Hailstones at least the size of golf balls are known to dent cars and break windows. Simply, the bigger the chunks of ice get, the bigger punches they pack.

Biggest hailstone in Tennessee

While Tennessee is not known for monster hailstones, it did experience bouts of destructive hail. According to TWC’s Weather Underground, the largest hailstone for each state is listed in table, and the unofficial record size is 4.25 inches in diameter. Also, digging through NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center revealed five total reports of hailstones with 4.5 inches diameter. At softball size, the hail can cause impressive damages, even more than just dented cars and broken windows. Keep in mind severe thunderstorm threshold for hail is quarter size. For stronger wordings in the warning statement, baseball size is the minimum.

That is… so huge!

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The monster hailstone from Vivian, SD

Now, time to meet the whopper of a hailstone. The largest hailstone in United States record book, according to National Weather Service, was the one dropped in Vivian, SD by a very powerful supercell thunderstorm. In one fateful afternoon on July 23, 2010, the severe thunderstorm dropped several giant hailstones, including the record breaker stone, on the town and an unfortunate soul witnessed a spectacle. When the storm passed, a man, Lee Scott, scooped up the stone, and he planned on making daiquiris with the stone. Fortunately, he changed his mind and turned the stone in to National Weather Service. However, the Lee lost his power when he put the stone in the freezer, so the stone’s official measurement was 8 inches in diameter. Yet, he reported that it was 11 inches in diameter before melting. Now, the Godzilla of hailstones is still resting at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), according to TWC’s Weather Underground.

I am a trained spotter and weather enthusiast who spent years enjoying learning about weather. I provide my thoughts and commentaries, sometimes with light humor.