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8-inch hailstone that fell in South Dakota might be a world record

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8-inch hailstone that fell in South Dakota might be a world record
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

ABERDEEN, S.D. -- A hailstone that fell south of the South Dakota capital of Pierre might be a world record, the National Weather Service says.

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The chunk of ice was found by a ranch hand near the town of Vivian on Friday night. It unofficially measured 8 inches in diameter with an 18.5-inch circumference.

The record-holding hailstone fell in Aurora, Neb., on June 22, 2003. It was 7 inches in diameter with a circumference of 18.75 inches.

Members of the National Climate Extremes Committee will meet this week to evaluate the South Dakota stone and determine whether it is a record, said Jim Scarlett, weather service meteorologist in Aberdeen. The committee that reports to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration assesses the scientific merit of extreme weather and validates meteorological measurements.

Leslie Scott, who found the possible record hailstone, said it lost about 3 inches because he was without electricity for several hours after the storm. Weather service staffers told him to put it in a sealed plastic bag and to stop opening the freezer door to show it to people, he said.

"If I knew it might be a record, I would have looked for a bigger one," he said. "There was lots of bigger ones than the one I got. My mother seen one as big as a football, she claims."

Hail from the storm led to at least five reports of people being injured on Interstate 90 when hailstones crashed through vehicle windshields.

"It was an extreme event," Scarlett said.

The hail also damaged buildings in the area.

"I've got 19 holes in my roof. Three of them go all the way through my ceiling," said Lisa Patrick, who lives in Vivian. "And it wasn't just my house; it was every house in town."

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Pioneer staff reports
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