Washington — It's official. The largest hailstone ever recovered in the United States fell nearly six weeks ago in Aurora, Neb., breaking a 33-year-old record.
Federal weather experts announced Friday that the record hailstone fell June 22 when a violent storm dropped hail the size of small cantaloupes through roofs in the Nebraska farm town.
The record stone measured in at 7 inches in diameter with a circumference of 18.75 inches, said Jay Lawrimore with the National Climatic Data Center in Ashville, N.C.
"This one is going into the books, and we are keepers of the books," said Lawrimore, who leads the national weather extremes committee for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The stone was measured by a crew from the National Weather Service forecast office in Hastings, Neb., and it was verified by a team of weather forecasters.
The previous record for the largest hailstone had been a diameter of 5.7 inches, a circumference of 17.5 inches, and was found Sept. 3, 1970, in Coffeyville, Kan.
The Coffeyville hailstone remains the heaviest on the books. It weighed 1.7 pounds.