Giant Hailstones In Australia Have Set A New Record For Size

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Leave it to Australia to make large copies of everyday objects (Yes, I’m talking about the huge spiders found there) but looks like now, gigantic hailstones are setting new records in the continent as well…

On Tuesday, a “gargantuan” 6.3-inch hailstone set a new continental record in Australia during an outbreak of spring thunderstorms in the region. Australia has been hit with a series of hail-producing storms in New South Wales and Queensland. In parts of New South Wales, there was so much hail that it covered the streets like snow and even resulted in the collapse of a roof at a shopping center.

While the hailstorms were terrifying, they also set up new records for the largest hailstone. In Queensland, the largest hail was measured to be more than half a foot in diameter and hailstones exceeding six inches in width are rightfully called as “gargantuan”.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology confirmed that the stone that fell north of Mackay near Yalboroo in Queensland, had established a new record for the country, beating the previous record of 5.5 inch stone that was also found in southeast Queensland last year.

The bureau also described the atmosphere as having been “extremely unstable”, resulting in heavy thunderstorms caused by large hailstone growth. “My Australian colleague was blowing up my phone the other morning with the first photos and reports coming in,” wrote Matthew Kumjian, a hail researcher and atmospheric scientist at Penn State.

Tuesday’s hailstone may be a new record for Australia but it still doesn’t beat the largest hailstone found in the Southern Hemispheric record, which is around eight to nine inches across and fell in Cordoba, Argentina on 8th February 2018. Kumjian and his colleagues used “photogrammetry”, a technique used to compare videos of the same phenomenon from different sources to estimate the size of the hailstones mathematically. 

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