The 5 Largest Hailstones in the World

Imagine a watermelon-sized chunk of ice falling from the sky?

In this article, we look at the largest, heaviest and worst hail records on Earth

Hail is one of the biggest dangers of a thunderstorm – while it’s usually small and harmless, it can grow to the size of a tennis ball or even bigger

It can cause serious damage, injury, and in extreme cases even death


Hail or hailstones form when supercooled water droplets within a thunderstorm begin to freeze in a condensation nucleus

When they come into contact with a growing hailstone, it freezes over it, making it even bigger

Growing hail is carried in the air by storms until it becomes too large and heavy for upper winds to keep it aloft

How hail forms

Hail can make one cycle within a storm cycle, but often make several cycles within a cycle

Larger hailstones sometimes even form long icicles or spikes!

The heaviest hail and largest hail are usually associated with severe thunderstorms

It takes very high to very unstable conditions, strong wind shear, and dry intermediate levels for very large hail to form

But how big can cobblestones grow?

Below are some of the heaviest, heaviest and worst rainfall records around the world


On February 8, 2018, huge chunks of ice were falling from the sky in Villa Carlos Paz, a resort town west of Córdoba, Argentina

Researchers studying the 2018 storm found that one of the boulders was 74 inches (188 cm) in diameter and 93 inches (236 cm) wide

This diameter may reach or even exceed the official world record for largest hail – recorded in Vivian, South Dakota (see below)

The hailstones were so large that scientists proposed a new form to describe them – hailstones

According to official reports, this so-called ‘gargantuan’ stone that fell in Argentina may beat the actual world record, according to researchers

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the official world record for the largest hailstone is an 8-inch (203 cm) hailstone that fell near Vivian, South Dakota, United States in 2010

Vivian, South Dakota – July 23, 2010

On July 23, 2010 an 80-inch (203 cm) hailstone was recorded in a large hailstorm produced by a supercell in Vivian, South Dakota

The stone was found by Mr Lee Scott, and it was the size of a volleyball!

The stone had a diameter of 18625 inches (473 cm) and a weight of 19375 pounds (088 kg)

It created an impact crater about 10 inches (25 cm) around the ground

Measuring the diameter and circumference of a hail stone!

Measuring the diameter and circumference of a hail stone!

The capital of Libya, Tripoli has been hit by a severe storm on October 27, 2020

The storm produced unusually large, *huge* hail, with an estimated diameter of 17-18 cm (65-7 inches)

Specimens of large cobblestones in Tripoli, Libya

Local reports said the sudden storm caused extensive property damage as many trees were downed and hail hit several vehicles

Here is another picture of a man holding these large stones that appear to be 16 to 18 centimeters (6-7 inches) in diameter

The hard nature of this stone makes it very difficult to estimate its mass or the equivalent diameter of a circle

Estimated diameter of hailstones in Tripoli, Libya

There have been other unconfirmed reports of hail of similar size

For example, Ponca City, Oklahoma was reportedly hit by hailstones up to 8 inches (20 cm) on April 17, 1935

In Europe, the largest hailstones reported in recent years were 15 cm on June 20, 2016 in Sanandrei, western Romania, and 141 cm on August 6, 2013 in Undingen, southwest Germany

14 cm hail was also reported in Stari Trg ob Kolpi, Slovenia on June 11, 2019

15 cm high hailstones in Sanandrei, Romania

In 2020, one large hail event was also reported in Slovenia, the city of Domzale was hit by 10+ cm high hailstones: Destructive hailstorm in central Slovenia, July 29 – the first hail event with 10+ cm long *big* in Europe summer 2020


Aurora, Nebraska – June 22, 2003

Hail with a diameter of 1875 inches (476 cm) was recorded on 22 June 2003 from a large thunderstorm in Aurora, Nebraska, USA

The stone was 70 inches (178 cm) in diameter, but no official weight was recorded as the stone cracked slightly when it hit the roof of the house

It is worth noting that the hail that hit Hamilton County (including Aurora) left impact holes in the ground up to 141 inches (36 cm) wide

NWS Hastings staff measuring the diameter and circumference of the Aurora, Nebraska boulders

Photo: NWS Hastings


Gopalganj District, Bangladesh – April 14, 1986

The heaviest hailstorm recorded by official authorities fell during a hailstorm in the Gopalganj district of Bangladesh on April 14, 1986

In Europe, the record is held by a large boulder weighing 21 pounds (097 kg) that fell in Strasbourg, France on August 11, 1958 – unfortunately, no measurements were recorded


Seldon, Kansas – June 3, 1959

A continuous, stationary hailstorm struck Seldon, Kansas on June 3, 1959

It produced a blanket of hail 18 inches (45 cm) thick over an area of ​​140 square kilometers (54 square miles)

Aerial view of a thick blanket of hail over Seldon, Kansas

Photo by Norton Telegram, Norton, Kansas

On April 30, 1888 the worst hailstorm in modern history hit Moradabad and Beheri districts, Uttar Pradesh state, India

It caused 246 deaths, 1600 cattle and sheep and stones as large as “goose eggs, oranges, and cricket balls”, according to the World Meteorological Organization

The boulders were reported to be as large as oranges and in some places piled up to 2 feet in height


Biggest Grip on Baseballs – Cardston, Alberta – July 26, 2012

Amazing Video of the Oklahoma City Hail Storm – May 16, 2010

8 inch hail in Vivian, South Dakota – July 23, 2010

Mega Hail in SE Stephenville, Texas – April 26, 2015

Check out some more interesting articles on hail records:

Unusually large hail of 20+ cm (8 inches) hits Libyan capital – October 27, 2020

Vivian, South Dakota storm chase report by storm chaser Mike Hollingshead – July 23, 2010

Record Hail Event in Vivian, South Dakota – July 23, 2010

Aurora, Nebraska hail report – June 22, 2003

Even daily storms can cause damage through lightning, flooding, or wind-driven projectiles

However, when raindrops freeze in clouds and form ice sheets, we have another thing to worry about: Hail

Hailstones often fall in manageable sizes, but sometimes they exceed our expectations

Let’s take a look at five of the world’s largest hailstones, which might make you want to check the sky before venturing into the next storm

Undingen Hailstone

A strong storm cell formed south of the Black Forest and descended near Undingen and Reutlingen, eventually dropping an impressive load of hailstones

Many of these stones rivaled tennis balls and oranges in size, especially the new German record breaker

It’s no secret that hailstones can cause serious damage to buildings, cars and other property

The hailstones from this supercell, however, went higher and higher and caused millions of damages

Coffeyville Hailstone

Location: Coffeyville, Kansas

Source: coffeevillecom

This terrifying hail was estimated to fall from the Kansas sky at a speed of 105 mph, and is considered the fastest hail on record

Discovering boulders is a common occurrence in the Great Plains, with enthusiasts waiting for the end of the storm to immediately begin searching for other interesting boulders that may have a chance to break current records

A model of these hailstones was created to fully document their size

Bangladesh’s heaviest hailstorm

Diameter: No measurements recorded

Residence: April 14, 1986

Source: earthquakepredictcom

While two-kilogram boulders certainly sound impressive, it’s important to remember how dangerous falling icebergs can be

The 1986 hailstorm that hit Gopalganj, Bangladesh left a disaster after claiming 92 lives and causing extensive property damage

These dangerous missiles were estimated to fall at more than 99 mph, and were recorded as the heaviest ever to fall in Bangladesh

There are no recorded measurements for this large boulder, so we don’t know its diameter or circumference to compare with those on other records

Aurora Hailstone

Location: Aurora, Nebraska

Residence: June 22, 2003

Source: weathergov

The major storms that hit Deshler, Nebraska in 2003 caused extensive damage to the area’s buildings and landscape with everything from flooding to tornadoes

As if these threats were not enough, huge boulders started raining down from the sky as well

Among those cold shells happened to be the largest specimen that landed in Aurora and surpassed the Coffeyville boulders as the largest specimen known at the time

Aric and Tamara Brophy discovered these boulders after hitting a drain in their home

This bounty hail was not measured and recorded until four days later

Vivian Hailstone

Diameter: 8 inches

Diameter: 8 inches

Diameter: 8 inches

Diameter: 8 inches

Location: Vivian, South Dakota

Residence: July 23, 2010

The Vivian Hailstone, South Dakota is the largest hailstone in the world

The storm that started this record-breaking pattern was reported to have destroyed 55 homes

They immediately gave away the officially recorded boulder crown, knocking the former record holder from Aurora down to second place

Mr Lee Scott reported that the large boulders were about 10-11 inches when he found them

It melted a bit when he got it to his fridge, shrinking in size

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