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Hail Size and Diameter

Hail can come in a variety of different sizes. The updraft has to be extremely strong to produce hail and as long as the updraft can support the ice particle, the hail will increase in size. In order to produce dime-sized hailstone, the updraft must be at least 37 mph. Golf ball size hail requires an updraft of 55 mph, and baseball-sized hail requires an updraft of 100 mph. In April of 2016, San Antonio reported hail roughly 3.5 inches in diameter. This hail would be larger than a baseball, meaning the updraft had to exceed 100 mph. Generally, the size of hail is estimated by comparing it to a known object.

In March 2016, Wylie reported hail the size of golf balls. A few weeks later in April, Wylie was struck by softball-sized hail which was nearly 4 inches in diameter. The largest hailstone by diameter and weight occurred in 2010 in South Dakota. The hailstone was 8 inches in diameter and weighed nearly two pounds. In 2003, Nebraska reported hail measuring in at 7 inches of diameter with a circumference of nearly 19 inches. Most hail storms are made up of a mix of sizes, and only the very largest hailstones pose a serious risk to people.