Giant hailstones are breaking new records

The New York Times reports that hailstones are having a banner year … which is not something to celebrate.

On Aug. 1, a team of scientists from Western University in London, Ontario, collected a giant hailstone while chasing a storm in Alberta, about 75 miles north of Calgary. The hailstone measured five inches across and weighed a little more than half a pound … The Canadian hailstone added to the list of regional records set in the past couple of years, including Alabama's in 2018 (5.38 inches long, 0.612 pounds), Colorado's in 2019 (4.83 inches, 0.53 pounds) and Africa's in 2020 (around seven inches long, weight unknown). Australia set a national record in 2020, then set it again in 2021. Texas' record was set in 2021. In 2018, a storm in Argentina produced stones so big that a new class of hail was introduced: gargantuan. Larger than a honeydew melon.

As the article notes, hail damage in the US caused a record-breaking $16.5 billion worth of damage in 2021; recently, in Catalonia, a child was even killed by a hailstorm.

Climate change is real, y'all. And it's horrifying.

The Hunt for Big Hail [Oliver Whang / The New York Times]

*Full disclosure: I also write for Wirecutter, which is part of the New York Times Company, which also owns and publishes The New York Times