STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Local Weather History: The Top 10 Largest Hailstones Ever Recorded In the Viewing Area

We have had our share of violent severe weather & this includes very large hailstones. Here are the biggest ones every documented in the viewing area.

Posted: May 27, 2020 8:59 PM
Updated: May 29, 2020 12:30 AM

The recent 5.33" hailstone measured in Texas got me digging through all of my records & research to determine the largest stones in our area.  Now, the largest stone documented in the U.S. fell at Vivian, South Dakota on July 23, 2010.  It weighed 1.93 pounds & was 18.5" in circumference or 8" in diameter (around volleyball-sized).  These are the kinds of stones that will kill people & livestock.  These are the ones that will completely go through a solid roof.

Luckily, in these storms, most of the stones are 2-4" diameter (still BIG!) & then you get the couple random HUGE record-breaking stones.

Not long after, on September 5, 2010, a 7.75" stone was measured near Wichita, Kansas.

There have been other similar stones measured in weather history & thankfully they are measured with a tape & not just a ruler.  The circumference is a more accurate measure, but you have to make sure you do not handle the stone too much to prevent melting.  This taints the most accurate measurement of data.  You want to know the true size ASAP before melting.

8" stone was measured at Ponca City, Oklahoma on April 17, 1935, while 8" stone was recorded between Austin & Houston, Texas in December of 1892.

Near our area, the largest stone measurement I have recovered is from a violent t'storm between Springfield, Illinois & St. Louis on May 25, 1839.  At this site (New Greenfield, Illinois), it was reported that the hail storm killed cattle, sheep & hogs to chickens & thousands of birds.  One woman suffered a broken arm from a falling hailstone.  Most of the stones were reportedly 2.5-5" in diameter.  One was 17" in circumference or 6" in diameter.  The average weight of the stones was 1.2 pounds reportedly.

Interestingly, I came across an article in press talking about  hailstorms from Fulton & Miami to Wayne counties in Indiana on July 28, 1839.  1000 acres of ripe wheat & 20,000 bushels were lost at Rochester (founded in 1835, it was a tiny near-wilderness village at that time).  It also reportedly flattened prairie & stripped trees of foliage.  Hail accumulated to 4" deep.

Recently, 45 miles southwest of Chicago (at Minooka), a 4.75" diameter stone fell on June 10, 2015.  This was the official Illinois state record that had to be verified from NWS & then State Climate Extremes Committee.

So, here are the top 10 largest hailstones ever measured in the viewing area:

Diameter, date of storm/collection, in or the nearest community to report, county recorded:

1.  5.00" (CD/DVD or Small Cantaloupe)

June 30, 1877:  Lafayette, Tippecanoe County

2.  4.50" (Grapefruit Size)

June 19, 2009:  Talma, Fulton County

3.  4.25" (Grapefruit Size)

June 14, 2010: Boswell, Benton County

April 16, 2006:  Rochester, Fulton County

4.  4.00" (Softball Size)

August 18, 2001:  Oxford to Otterbein, Benton County

May 27, 2019:  Montmorenci, Tippecanoe County

5.  3.80"  (Softball Size)

May 12, 1886:  Forest, Clinton County

6.  3.50"  (Slightly Smaller Than a Softball)

September 30, 1977:  Covington, Fountain County 

7.  3.40"  (Slightly Smaller Than a Softball)

May 6, 1909:  West Lafayette, Tippecanoe County

8.  3.00" (Tea Cup Size)

May 20, 1870:  Rensselaer, Jasper County

April 9, 1953:  Independence (Warren) to Dayton (Tippecanoe) to Rossville (Clinton)

February 21, 1980:  Crawfordsville, Montgomery County

May 18, 2000:  Romney, Tippecanoe County

9.  2.80" (Near Baseball Size)

May 25, 1917:  Veedersburg, Fountain County

10.  2.75" (Baseball Size)

May 15, 1968:  Waveland, Montgomery County

June 6, 1971:  Frankfort, Clinton County

September 18, 1972: Mace, Montgomery County

June 14, 1975:  Dunn, Benton County

June 1, 1987:  Otterbein, Benton County

May 18, 2000: Stonebluff, Fountain County

July 6, 2003:  Royal Center, Cass County

May 21, 2014:  Waveland, Montgomery County

Note:  August 9, 1843, heavy, big hail fell 4 miles south of Round Grove on the "Grand Prairie" with much damage to vegetation.  Falling at 3 p.m. large stones were collected & were of such huge size, a man on horseback rode to Lafayette the next day to show local press.  The man mentioned how bushels of these large stones could be gathered after the storm.  There were still 2-3 stones that fit in pint jar (1" in diameter).  These were in warmth for 20.5 hours, so they were likely much, much larger during the storm.  However, no size was given, so I am unable to put it on this list, but it probably would make the survey. 

West Lafayette
Broken Clouds
52° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 52°
Kokomo
Broken Clouds
50° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 50°
Rensselaer
Overcast
52° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 52°
Fowler
Overcast
52° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 52°
Williamsport
Overcast
54° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 54°
Crawfordsville
Broken Clouds
48° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 48°
Frankfort
Overcast
50° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 50°
Delphi
Overcast
51° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 51°
Monticello
Overcast
51° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 51°
Logansport
Scattered Clouds
48° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 48°
Cooler, Windy with Spotty Showers
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 118322

Reported Deaths: 3591
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion21502767
Lake10688323
Elkhart6707111
St. Joseph6619113
Allen6330205
Hamilton4938109
Vanderburgh378131
Hendricks2766124
Monroe265536
Tippecanoe256613
Johnson2352124
Clark225957
Porter219947
Delaware200162
Cass19559
Vigo186827
Madison170375
LaPorte149141
Floyd139664
Warrick138242
Howard132663
Kosciusko125917
Bartholomew118457
Marshall101524
Dubois99919
Boone99146
Grant95134
Hancock94643
Noble93132
Henry81226
Jackson7739
Wayne77014
Morgan73438
Daviess68028
Shelby68029
Dearborn67528
LaGrange64011
Clinton62314
Harrison59224
Putnam58411
Gibson5355
Knox5289
Lawrence51629
Montgomery51121
DeKalb48811
White48714
Decatur45939
Miami4394
Greene42735
Fayette42313
Jasper4012
Scott39011
Steuben3907
Posey3460
Sullivan33812
Jennings31612
Franklin31325
Clay3085
Ripley3078
Orange28824
Whitley2826
Carroll27813
Adams2763
Wabash2728
Starke2717
Washington2701
Wells2674
Spencer2633
Jefferson2503
Huntington2473
Fulton2442
Tipton22822
Randolph2238
Perry22113
Jay1920
Newton17411
Owen1711
Martin1680
Pike1641
Rush1574
Vermillion1310
Fountain1292
Blackford1213
Pulaski1141
Crawford1100
Parke1072
Brown1043
Benton870
Ohio797
Union790
Switzerland690
Warren411
Unassigned0226

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events