Biggest hail experience?

Joined
Feb 10, 2004
Messages
1,089
Location
Scottsdale, AZ USA
It was fun to see marble+ size hail fall this morning in the Arizona desert. I have never seen hail that size fall out here, quite rare. I called in to a couple stations, they were excited. Happens only once in a blue moon, if that.

The largest hail I have experienced was golf ball+ in Woodward, Oklahoma, bringing the dreaded "bonk" followed by the inevitable "thud" on the windshield.

What is the largest hail you have ever seen?
 
Had baseball hail in Attica, KS, on 5-12-04 this year... Got baseball hail at my home back in the mid-90s around 1am... That was interesting... I didn't chase on 4-5-03 -- the northern Texas ice machine, however.
 
Largest I've seen was 3 inches in diameter (slightly bigger than baseballs) west of Protection KS on 5/31/1999. It had already been on the ground for a few minutes....I had been following the storm from the west.
 
May 18, 1997, Iowa City, IA (my hometown) - Baseball-sized hail with roughly 30 - 40% ground coverage. The previous day, I had driven a brand new car home from the dealer… On the AM of Sunday, May 18, I looked at the weather data and noticed a severe weather situation setting up, including a chance for large hail in any strong storms that would develop. While sitting at home with my parents during the noon hour having Sunday dinner, I jokingly remarked that having the new car would greatly increase the chance of large hail… My Dad said: well, it very rarely hails large enough damage vehicles – I wouldn’t worry about a thing.

To make a long story short, I did some local chasing that afternoon (carefully avoiding any rain areas), and later in the day a developing supercell was approaching Iowa City. I thought I would drop just south of town and get in position south of the meso – I had to stop for the train! So, I turned around and drove north to seek shelter in the city since my own garage was full of stuff (I was in the process of remodeling the house) and I made it into a parking ramp downtown seconds before large hail began falling…

bill
 
Biggest I've seen: softballs on May 12, 2004 near Sharon, KS
Biggest I've been in: baseballs on April 5, 2003 near Eliasville, TX
 
April 5 2003 in Woodson Texas, south of Throckmorton. We missed getting pounded by the hail, that nailed several other chasers. Came into the town, found softballs still lying on the ground. Holes in roofs, cars, widows, and broken tree limbs everywhere.
 
On March 28th 2000 we were unable to see the Ft. Worth tornado
because we were behind the NW side of the hook and saw 4.5 inch hail
freshly fallen. Needles to say we didn't drive into what was ahead.

The biggest I've been bonked with was around baseball sized more than once.

[Broken External Image]:http://chaseone.com/03280007.jpg
 
Wow Bobby that's fantastic! What a shot. Croquet, anyone? :) I saved my windshield from some of that variety once while on a storm in Amarillo. Just west in Vega reports were coming in of 4" hail making Swiss cheese out of lawn furniture and sheds. I hung out in AMA because I didn't want to spend the next day in the shop.
 
I caught this stone July 13 of this year in La Salle county IL, the day of the Roanoke F4. It was just over two inches in diameter and by far this newb's largest hail ever encountered.

b6857a1c4021db0257c8fb223b26bfbc.jpg
 
It's tough to say, but probably May 4, 2002, near Vick, TX. Amos and I had gotten ourselves way up in the notch as the storm was undergoing a transformation, and the hail core essentially developed around us. We were pounded with baseballs for what seemed like an eternity as we tried to escape. On the plus side, we witnessed a brief tornado shortly thereafter. The windshield was in pretty bad shape, but held well enough to where we could continue chasing. We caught the Happy, TX tornado the next day.

Luckily, I managed to avoid hail on April 5, 2003. I blasted through Woodson at 80 mph (literally) only a minute or two before the place was decimated. It remains one of the scariest moments of my chase career - the inflow was incredible, with trash cans and lawn chairs flying across the road in front of me, and the hail was nipping at my heels. I actually hit a trash can and dragged it halfway through town with me - I was worried I'd have to stop and remove it manually (losing precious time), but a quick swerve on to the rough shoulder knocked it loose. I just wanted to get the hell outta there.

After hearing the radio traffic from those behind me who weren't lucky enough to make it out in time, I just about broke off the storm. I didn't get close to the updraft again until somewhere in Parker County. I didn't want to take my chances with that hail core again, especially not in the hills of Palo Pinto County.
 
Mine's really wussy — only golfball size, in about December 1991, but that (and the green clouds of the thunderstorm) got me hooked on weather. Good enough for now.
 
Originally posted by Bobby Eddins
On March 28th 2000 we were unable to see the Ft. Worth tornado
because we were behind the NW side of the hook and saw 4.5 inch hail
freshly fallen. Needles to say we didn't drive into what was ahead.

The biggest I've been bonked with was around baseball sized more than once.

[Broken External Image]:http://chaseone.com/03280007.jpg

Amazing pic!
 
The biggest hail I've been in came from the May 29, 2004 Jamestown, KS supercell. The stones were near 5" diameter.

The largest hail I've seen was from a hail survey on June 23, 2003 near Aurora, NE. The largest stone we measured was 6", but another stone was found larger than that (which broke the Coffeyville, KS record). In fact, it's very likely some stones were as large as 8-9" before breaking/melting based on the ground impacts found during the survey.

The photo below is a 5" diameter stone from 2003...

Scott Blair
http://www.targetarea.net/

8a26a483340799276d17780f6b7b6e77.jpg
 
It doesnt hail that often in Illinois...and even more rarely does it get very large. I personally seem to repel hail, as ive only encountered if a handfull of times...but did see golfball sized on July 13 2004...But, a few years ago I also saw marble sized hail that accumulated a couple inches on the ground.
 
The largest hail i have seen with my own eyes was back in August of 1992
when i moved into residence at Olds College.The town of Olds is between
Redeer and Calgary in a area known as hailstorm Alley.Some of the
largest hail in the world falls hear.The hail i seen that day was golfball.
 
1970 - Coffeyville Kansas. Cantelope size and larger. In fact, up until recently, the largest hailstone in the US was recorded there. 17.5 inches.

My Brother and I went out with my Father's hard hats and buckets. We found stuff that was softball size. Luckily (Boy it's good to be dumb when you're young!) we didn't get hit while out running around like that. :roll:
 
Baseball and a few softball sized stones May 29th 04, between Bridgeport and Geary in OK.
 
Andrea,

Let me clarify. We did not get anywhere near the largest hail in our hands but we passed some very large chunks in this hailstorm.

Go to the video stills catalog from here
http://www.australiasevereweather.com/video/index.html

or directly from here - you can see links to separate events:

http://www.australiasevereweather.com/vide...deo/index2.html

You can see a large hailstone smacking the road on the 12th May 2004

5a3e7ef60ebd3826c37a9ef6357901c6.jpg


This is a set of video stills prepared for this event. It occurred on the 24th October 2004 - not that it is a stronger left mover with favourable updraft on the northern side (southern hemisphere). All reversed.

http://www.australiasevereweather.com/vide...4/20041024.html

We don't want to go through hail and that wasn't our plan but with the road network, we had no choice but either to stay behind or go through. In hindsight, had we gone all the way through, the car would have had shattered windows by the larger hailstones. 8cm hailstones with little winds did not smack through the windows. Unlike the hailstones that did in my friends car about 2 weeks later:

http://www.australiasevereweather.com/stor...s/200411-01.htm

There is a small video of the impact and quick retreat in this report.

Regards,

Jimmy Deguara
 
I have been extremely diligent about keeping out of hail shafts, partly because a car can get bonked on seals and trim, opening the way for leaks that can't be fixed easily. You can repair any window and body, but trim/seal leaks can be annoying; I had that happen in the early 1990s when my Nissan got pegged by a golf ball hailstone above the windshield. I've found it isn't really difficult to stay out of hail if you can keep fully cognizant of what the storm is doing. The largest I've seen was May 8, 1998 near Graham, Texas when the storm was moving so fast that I was losing my conceptual model of what it was doing and got caught in the wrong area. I'd have to rank it as marginal tennis ball size (about 2 1/2"), though baseballs fell elsewhere. Going in a group I've chased with Gene Rhoden more than anyone else, and likewise he's been pretty good about staying out of the hail.

I've also made it a habit to park & point the car away from the outflow when it looks inevitable that I'll be in hail; that way only the back of the car suffers any damage and I don't get any hailstones in my lap or in the windshield or headlamps.

Tim
 
Originally posted by Jimmy Deguara
Andrea,

Let me clarify. We did not get anywhere near the largest hail in our hands but we passed some very large chunks in this hailstorm.

This is a set of video stills prepared for this event. It occurred on the 24th October 2004 - not that it is a stronger left mover with favourable updraft on the northern side (southern hemisphere). All reversed.

http://www.australiasevereweather.com/vide...4/20041024.html

We don't want to go through hail and that wasn't our plan but with the road network, we had no choice but either to stay behind or go through. In hindsight, had we gone all the way through, the car would have had shattered windows by the larger hailstones. 8cm hailstones with little winds did not smack through the windows. Unlike the hailstones that did in my friends car about 2 weeks later:

http://www.australiasevereweather.com/stor...s/200411-01.htm

There is a small video of the impact and quick retreat in this report.

Regards,

Jimmy Deguara

Jimmy,
Really nice hail! I hope then you escaped under a tree to not destroy your car.... :)
 
Andrea,

We did not get our car destroyed though it did get dented. As suggested, because of the winds, similar hail did serious damage to the windsheild of my friends car in a totally separate event 2 weeks later. And as suggested, had we gone fiurther towards the region closer to the main core or closer to the front of the storm, we would have been in serious trouble. Our aim though is always to remain out of the storm as much as possible. The road network here in Australia does not criss-cross the countryside but winds.

I am not trying to condone storm chasing through hail by the way and I agree with Tim's suggestion stay out!!

Regards,

Jimmy Deguara
 
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