September 2013
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Hailstone size compared to objects

Hailstone size compared to objects

When reporting the severity of a hailstorm, newscasters and reporters typically do not refer to the size of a hailstone in millimeters or inches. Instead, they often use coins or objects to describe the size of the hail, such as pennies, golf balls and grapefruit.

But how do these descriptions translate to the diameter of a hailstone? Following are objects used to describe hailstones and the size in inches implied by such descriptions, according to www.spc.noaa.gov.

Marble or moth ball hailstone = 0.5 inches
Penny hailstone = 0.75 inches
Nickel hailstone = 0.88 inches
Quarter hailstone = 1 inch
Half-dollar hailstone = 1.25 inches
Walnut or ping pong ball hailstone = 1.5 inches
Golf ball hailstone = 1.75 inches
Hen egg hailstone = 2 inches
Tennis ball hailstone = 2.5 inches
Baseball hailstone = 2.75 inches
Teacup hailstone = 3 inches
Grapefruit hailstone = 4 inches
Softball hailstone = 4.5 inches


This Web exclusive information is a supplement to A study with impact.

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