It's official. That giant hailstone found in Vivian, SD on July 23 now holds the record as the largest ever discovered in the U.S. since people began keeping tabs on such things.
The National Climate Extremes Committee, part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the final arbiter of such weather records, measured the hailstone at eight inches in diameter.
By way of comparison, a regular-sized softball has a diameter of about 3.8 inches.
It weighed in at 1.94 pounds.
The prior record holder in terms of size was was seven inches in diameter. That fell onto Aurora, NE in June 2003.
The new hailstone also would become the heaviest. The prior weight record weighed was a 1.67 pounds monster that dropped onto Coffeyville, KS in September 1970.
And as massive as the South Dakota hailstone was, according to the guy who found it, ranch hand Leslie Scott, there was even more to behold and hold before it started to melt.
An excerpt from the Associated Press:
Ranch hand Leslie Scott says the hailstone was about 3 incheslarger when he found it. Scott says he put it in the freezer butthat he couldn't prevent some melting because of an hours-longpower outage that followed the storm.
As you can see from the accompanying photo, that's one weird looking hailstone. It looks like a virus, which I said when I showed the photo to fellow blogger David Gura.
David agreed, saying it resembled a glass sculpture of a virus he recently saw online. And it certainly does.