'Gargantuan' hail in Argentina may have smashed world record

Rachel Gutierrez, a graduate student at Penn State and co-author of the paper, found a connection between a storm updraft’s rotational velocity, or how fast it is spinning, and larger hail size.

Hail Argentina 2020

A gargantuan hailstone that fell in Argentina may have set a world record, according to researchers.  IMAGE: VICTORIA DRUETTA

Matthew Carroll, April 29, 2020
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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A supercell thunderstorm pelted a city center in Argentina a few years ago with hailstones so large scientists suggested a new category to describe them — gargantuan hail.

Researchers investigating the 2018 storm found one hailstone likely measured between 7.4 and 9.3 inches across, potentially setting a new world record. The current record belongs to a hailstone that measured 8 inches across, or about the size of a volleyball, that fell near Vivian, South Dakota.  

“It’s incredible,” said Matthew Kumjian, associate professor in the Department of Meteorology and Atmosphere Science at Penn State. “This is the extreme upper end of what you’d expect from hail.”

Read the full story here: https://news.psu.edu/story/617800/2020/04/29/research/gargantuan-hail-argentina-may-have-smashed-world-record