The largest hailstones recorded in Kentucky

Anita Durairaj

Hailstones are hard pellets of ice that are larger than 0.2 inches in diameter. They can vary in size and shape and are formed when raindrops are carried into cold regions of the atmosphere. The raindrops become frozen and grow in size into hailstones when it collides with liquid water drops.

When a thunderstorm updraft cannot support the weight of the hailstones, the hailstones will be pulled down by gravity and fall to Earth.

The size of a hailstone varies from the smallest pea-size stone which is a quarter of an inch in diameter to huge hailstones which are more than four and a half inches in diameter and are described as being softball size.

In the U.S., the largest hailstone on record is reported to be eight inches in diameter.

According to the website, Stacker, Kentucky has had a total of 87 hailstorms from 2009 - 2018.

Hailstorms can cause millions of dollars in property damage and the worst hailstorm in Kentucky was the 2012 storm in Wolfe County which resulted in $2 million worth of damages.

Other hailstorms in Kentucky have been just as bad even if the property damage was not as high as the 2012 storm.

In 2002, golfball to softball size hail pounded central Kentucky and damaged many homes, and injured a few people. These softball size hailstones are among the largest hailstones to fall in Kentucky.

As for the Kentucky record for the largest size of a hailstone, meteorologist John Belski reports that the largest hailstone to ever fall in Kentucky was measured to be 5 inches in diameter.

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