A record-breaking, sixteen-centimeter, (6.4 inches) hailstone was sadly made into margaritas before it got the chance to be verified...
After the huge hailstone dropped during the storm in Hondo, Texas, on April 28th, Lino Ramirez uploaded photos to social media before making cocktails with the gigantic chunk of ice. Meteorologists on Twitter were quick to analyze the photo and discovered it was the largest hailstone that has ever fallen in Texas, measuring around sixteen centimeters (6.27–6.57 inches).
Sadly, the hailstone was already long gone by the time the National Weather Service heard the news, so it will never claim its rightful title...
Do you see the quarter?! About the biggest hail can get! In Hondo, Texas from Lino Ramirez pic.twitter.com/oiurCgvFWW
— Brad Sowder (@TheBradSowder) April 29, 2021
But not all was lost, as another larger hailstone fell on Hondo at around the same time, which after verification, was announced to be the largest hailstone to ever have landed in Texas, weighing in at a whopping 0.57 kilograms (1.26 pounds) and measuring over sixteen centimeters (6.4 inches) in diameter. Now that would certainly do some damage if it landed on someone!
3D analysis was used to find the weight and measurements, which were then compared with the data of previously recorded hailstones, to make sure it was deserving of the title... and it was.
Estimated max. dimension of this #gargantuan stone, accounting for perspective: 6.27-6.57 inches! It's gargantuan (>6")! Happy for colleagues to attempt/improve: @Albatrossoar @joshuasoderholm @igiammanco33 .@NWSSanAntonio #Hondo, TX beneath BWER, extremely low CC aloft. #hail pic.twitter.com/pRC2Y7c1Ft
— PSURadarMeteorology (@PSU_RadarMeteo) April 30, 2021
The hailstones were caused by multiple supercell storms that moved from Del Rio to San Antonio, resulting in large chunks of ice being dropped over surrounding areas.
People on social media just couldn't believe the size of them...
"We have multiple vehicles with hail damage and craters that are as wide as lemons! I know it was the largest and worst hail storm I've seen in the fifty-six years of my life. I've lived in Japan, Iceland, Florida, and Texas!" one Twitter user wrote.
Another commented: "If you rotate the picture clockwise once it kind of looks like a topographical map of America lol. Definitely a scary thought. If they get this big how much bigger are we gonna be looking at in ten years, fifty years."
All the information on the massive hailstones was released in a report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the NWS, where they wrote: "On May 12th, 2021, a State Climate Extremes Committee (SCEC) convened to verify/validate several observations related to a hailstone retrieved on April 28th, 2021 near the community of Hondo, Texas. The committee considered the validity, meteorological plausibility, and measurement practices associated with the hailstone in question. After reviewing the observational and meteorological evidence, the means and method of measurement, and previously documented stones, the SCEC unanimously agreed that the hailstone retrieved near Hondo on April 28th, 2021 would set the inaugural SCEC record for the State of Texas in four metrics."
According to the NWS record, the largest hailstone fell near Vivian, South Dakota, and had a diameter of over twenty centimeters (8 inches)!