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Hailstones Have Many Names

UPDATED March 21, 2011

By WeatherBug Meteorologists

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Pea, Hen egg, and Teacup. No, this isn`t a shopping list, or a list of characters out of a fairy tale. These are just a couple of adjectives used to describe hail. Yes, hail, the ball of ice that falls from a thunderstorm.

Like many other things in life, hail comes in different shapes and sizes. For consistency, and to make it easier for storm spotters to report, the National Weather Service has come up with a set of names that`s pretty unique and interesting to say the least.

Here they are: (listed by name and diameter size)

Pea one-quarter inch

Dime half-inch

Penny three-quarter inch

Nickel four-fifths inch

Quarter one inch

Half-Dollar one and one-quarter inch

Ping Pong Ballone and one-half inch

Golf Ball one and three-quarter inch

Hen Egg two inches

Tennis Ball two and one-half inch

Baseball two and three-quarter inch

Teacup three inches

Grapefruit four inches

Softball four and one-half inch

The largest hailstone ever recorded in the United States was found in Vivian, S.D., on July 23, 2010. The stone measured 8 inches in diameter with a circumference of 18.62 inches. It weighted 1.93 pounds.

Be sure to check your WeatherBug for the latest, severe wweather information. If you are affected by severe weather, submit your photos to WeatherBug using the Your Photo link on this page.

Photo Credit: Lisa Hennis Sylvarena, Miss. Golf-ball size hail storm on April 22, 2005

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