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7 terrifying photos of giant hailstones

Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Wednesday, June 13, 2018, 12:41 - While many people associate severe weather with the blizzards and ice storms that come with winter, summer isn't exactly a quiet season, weather-wise.

Tornadoes, floods and lightning are summer staples, and many of these systems are accompanied by hail.

These large ice spheres are born out of thunderstorms with strong updrafts and typically form within an unstable airmass. Most hail storms produce stones that vary in size, ranging from pea-sized to quarter-sized.

But sometimes, they can get much larger than that.

Here are 7 terrifying photos of gigantic hailstones.

7. Ping pong-sized hail in Airdrie, Alberta (estimated diameter: 3.81 cm)

Photo credit: Carter George, taken August 7, 2014

6. Golf ball-sized hail in Red Deer, Alberta (estimated diameter: 4.45 cm)

Photo credit: Rob, taken July 21, 2015

5. Tennis ball-sized hail, location unknown (estimated diameter: 6.40 cm)

Photo credit: Ben Wright, taken July 26, 2012

4. Teacup-sized hail in Harper, Kansas (estimated  diameter : 7.60 cm)

Photo credit: National Weather Service, taken May 14, 2004

3. Softball-sized hail in Outlook, Saskatchewan (estimated diameter: 11.43 cm)

Photo credit: Lianne Hopkins, taken July 19, 2016

This hailstone, with a diameter of approximately 7 cm, was spawned during a violent storm that tore through the Prairies. Numerous trees were said to be damaged, along with some car windows:

2. Grapefruit-sized hail in the central U.S. (estimated  diameter : 10.16 cm)

Photo credit: Tyler Hobbs (via taken April 26, 2016

1. Off-the-chart-sized hail, a.k.a. the largest hail storm EVER recorded in the U.S. in Vivian, South Dakota (estimated diameter: a staggering 20 cm)

Photo credit: National Weather Service, taken July 23, 2010

This monster of a hailstone weighed in at 1.94 pounds, smashing the previous record of 17.78 cm in diameter which fell in Aurora, Nebraska on June 22, 2003.


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