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South Texas April hailstorm sets record for largest hailstone in the state

The giant hailstone measured in at 6.4″
South Texas hailstorm sets new hail record
South Texas hailstorm sets new hail record(KBTX)
Published: Jun. 24, 2021 at 3:09 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - A State Climate Extremes Committee has finished their report of a South Texas hailstone, finding that the size of the stone has set a new Texas State Record.

On April 28th, 2021, a severe thunderstorm traveled down the HWY 90 corridor west of San Antonio, eventually dropping the giant 6.4″ hailstone near Hondo, TX.

Official details of the hailstone can be found below:

LocationDateHailstone DiameterHailstone WeightHailstone VolumeHailstone Circumference
1 mile SSW of Hondo, TexasApril 28th, 2021 - approx. 7:35 pm CDT6.416 in1.26 lbs40.239 cu in19.730 in

According to NOAA, the first giant hailstone reported to local media and NWS Austin-San Antonio was found south of U.S. Highway 90 in Hondo. Photogrammetry was used to estimate the diameter as the hailstone was never officially measured with a ruler or a similar device.

What happened to this gigantic hailstone? Well, that is a great story to have over cocktails.

Additional large hailstones were also reported to local media offices in the 5″ - 6″ diameter range, but forecasters at NWS Austin-San Antonio have not been able to verify the validity of these hailstones.

Prior to the April 28th hailstorm, the largest credibly reported hailstones in Texas that produced the candidate Texas state record appear as follows:

SizeLocationDate
8 inchesWashington CountyDecember 6, 1892
7-8 inchesWinkler CountyMay 31, 1960
6 inchesMoore CountyJune 12, 2010
6 inchesWard CountyMay 10, 1991

According to researchers at NOAA, “No direct photographic evidence or descriptions of measurements exist for the Washington County and Winkler County hailstones. No other measurements (volume, weight, or circumference) are available for any of the four hailstones listed above.”

In regards to the Hondo hailstone, the State Climate Extremes Committee said “The Hondo hailstone was initially reported unofficially at 9 inches, but based on its shape in initial photos and at the time of measurement by the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) team, a likely initial unofficial size was closer to 7 inches. The IBHS measured diameter was 6.416 inches. The Hondo hailstone therefore appears to qualify as the largest documented hailstone.”

For the official event write-up from NOAA, click here.

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