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Ooooohhh, Hail

Hail poses a safety threat to both humans and animals. NOAA estimates that 24 people in the U.S. are injured each year, with some injuries significant enough to land them in the hospital.

In May , 1995, severe storms over the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area in Texas produced strong winds, heavy rain and very large hail. The storms, which remain some of the costliest in history. AT Mayfest festival over 10,000 people were caught out in the open with little to no shelter from the hail. More than 400 people were hurt after being pelted with hail up to the size of a softball. Although no one was killed, about 60 people were seriously injured.

Hail can kill people too, though it's pretty rare. The first recorded death by hail in this country was on May 13th 1930. A farmer in Lubbock, TX was killed by injuries from hail. One of the very few deaths in the United States from hail. Only 3 people have been killed in modern times in the US, the farmer in Lubbock and

—a baby struck by large hail in Fort Collins, Colorado, on July 30, 1979;

—and a boater on Lake Worth, Texas, on March 29, 2000.

The largest number of people killed by hail happened way back in 1888 in India. On April 30th of that year hail the size “goose eggs, oranges and cricket balls” killed 246 people

The largest officially recognized hailstone on record to have been “captured” in the U.S. was that which fell near Vivian, South Dakota on July 23, 2010. It measured 8.0” in diameter, 18.5” in circumference, and weighed in at 1.9375 pounds.

Hail can accumulate pretty deeply too, if a storm hangs out long enough or train over the same area. Hail accumulated 18” deep on level in Seldon, Kansas, on June 3, 1959, perhaps the greatest on-level hail accumulation on record in the U.S.

Fun (or not so fun) fact: Costliest hail storm in US history occurred on April 10, 2001. The hail was produced by a long lived supercell that travelled right down I-70 from Kansas City to St. Louis. Damage was over 2 billion dollars, with lots of reports of up to baseball size stones.

Public service announcement: Don't go out and play in big hail.

Everyone have a great week and holiday next Monday! I'll be back in a couple weeks.

Article published on May 22nd, 2023 by Greg Dixon

HLEW Weather Rewind

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