Giant Hailstone From Argentina Could Set New World Record

Posted on May 1, 2020

Giant Hailstone from Villa Carlos Paz, Argentina

A powerful supercell thunderstorm in Argentina in 2018 dropped enormous hailstones on the city of Villa Carlos Paz. Researchers from Penn State say one of the hailstones measured between 7.4 and 9.3 inches across.

The hailstone could be larger than the current record - an 8-inch hailstone that fell near Vivian, South Dakota.

Matthew Kumjian, associate professor in the Department of Meteorology and Atmosphere Science at Penn State, says in a statement, "It's incredible. This is the extreme uppper end of what you'd expect from hail."

Gargantuan Hail Category Proposed

The scientists are proposing a new category - gargantuan hail - for hailstones that are larger than 6 inches across.

Kumjian also says, "Anything larger than about a quarter in size can start putting dents into your car. In some rare cases, 6-inch hail has actually gone through roofs and multiple floors in houses. We'd like to help mitigate the impacts on life and property, to help anticipate these kinds of events."

The researchers followed up on the storm and interviewed witnesses, visited sites and collected photographic and video evidence. A paper on the findings was published in Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.

Image: Victoria Druetta