Oh hail no! Colorado sets new state record for largest hailstone

The hailstone fell in Kirk, Colorado in early August

Photo posted by NOAA's NCEI confirming largest hailstone on record in state of Colorado (Copyright 2023 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.)

KIRK, Co. – The State Climate Extremes Committee confirmed a hailstone from a severe storm in early August set a new record for the largest in the state of Colorado.

The official measurement says it was 5.25″ in diameter. For perspective, that’s larger than a softball!

The previous record was a hailstone that fell near Bethune in August of 2019. Its diameter was 4.83″.

It happened on the evening of August 8, 2023, in Yuma County, Colorado when a series of severe storms produced multiple tornadoes and a long swath of damaging hail.

Storm chaser, Dan Fritts, measured and photographed the stone shortly after it fell.

One theory for large hail development has to do with the speed at which air rises in a thunderstorm. When air rises quickly, hailstones can become larger in the upper levels of a storm.

Elevation and moisture content in the lower levels of the atmosphere can help sustain these large stones on their way down to ground level.

NOAA has a full write-up of this monumental hailstone here.

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