Hail is formed when an updraft in a thunderstorm super-cools water that touches a single condensation nucleus, causing each droplet to freeze onto that center drop, forming a bigger and bigger pellet of ice, till it gets heavy enough to reverse direction and fall as hail.
The Wild World of Hailstones
We may never truly know how big hailstones have gotten, since of course they begin melting once they are on the ground, and they may be found by humans after the fact.One of the largest hailstones in terms of weight ever found was located in Gopalganj district in Bangladesh, weighing in at over 2 pounds. On the other hand, the largest recorded hailstone by circumference was found in Aurora, Nebraska. The same locations that receive the most intense, unstable supercell thunderstorms tend to be the places where these mammoth hailstones appear, but even in those locations, anything larger than pea-sized or quarter-sized hail is extremely rare.
Most Epic and Deadly Hail
- The largest hailstone in diameter was around 8 inches wide and found in one of the biggest hailstorms in history, a supercell thunderstorm in Vivian, South Dakota. While similar ones have been found, it's hard to document them before they start melting!
- A 17-inch thick layer of hailstones once accumulated on the ground in Seldon, Kansas in 1959, the thickest layer ever measured.
- While hailstones cause massive damage at times, there are only three known deaths due to hailstone impacts in recent history in the United States. However, the biggest hails storms in history with large hailstones and strong winds, there are reports going back hundreds of years that led to dozens, if not hundreds of deaths.
Help for Colorado Hail Damage
Luckily, in Colorado, we mostly receive hailstorms that do little more than damage our cars. Even more lucky is the fact that American Auto Hail Repair is here in the area, ready to provide you with all the paintless dent repair needs you have to get your vehicle back into great shape. Contact the PDR technicians today to learn more.