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Thu Apr 30, 2020, 10:43 PM

Meteorologists Describe 'Gargantuan Hail' From Epic Storm in Argentina

George Dvorsky
Today 4:37PM

A “gargantuan” hailstone that fell in Argentina in 2018.
Image: Victoria Druetta

Two years ago, a severe storm in Argentina produced hailstones reaching 9 inches wide, prompting meteorologists to propose an entirely new term: “gargantuan hail.” Scientists don’t fully understand how such enormous balls of ice can take shape, but the 2018 storm is providing some tantalizing new clues.

New research in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society describes a supercell storm that struck Argentina on February 8, 2018. The storm is notable in that it produced unusually large hailstones, the biggest of which measured 9.3 inches (23.7 cm) in diameter.

The storm is also noteworthy because it struck the densely populated city of Villa Carlos Paz in Córdoba Province. This resulted in numerous sightings and images posted to social media, allowing the authors of the new paper, Matthew Kumjian and Rachel Gutierrez from Pennsylvania State University, to chronicle and study this extreme weather event in detail.

Currently, the U.S. National Weather Service uses the terms “sub-severe,” “severe,” and “significantly severe” to describe the size of hailstones. More informally, some scientists use the term “giant” to describe hail larger than 3.9 inches (10 cm). Kumjian and Gutierrez are now asking to have this meteorological guitar amp cranked to 11: They propose the term “gargantuan hail” to describe the “upper extreme of hail sizes,” as they write in their paper, specifically referring to ice stones larger than 6 inches (15 cm).

More:
https://gizmodo.com/meteorologists-describe-gargantuan-hail-from-epic-sto-1843184345


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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Thu Apr 30, 2020, 10:47 PM

1. Nine inch hailstones? That's terrifying!

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri May 1, 2020, 12:10 AM

3. Yep, they could do some damage if one gets conked on the head.

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Response to brush (Reply #3)

Fri May 1, 2020, 12:33 AM

4. It has spikes!

Reminds me of those huge pine cones from Coulter Pines. They're like hardwood with sharp hooks on the ends. This coming from the sky would really do some damage.


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Response to brush (Reply #3)

Fri May 1, 2020, 12:37 AM

5. I wonder if an umbrella would make it mad, or if it would even notice! n/t

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri May 1, 2020, 01:01 AM

6. Definitely one of the scourges of Argentina - besides right-wing media and foreign debt

Here's footage of a 2015 hailstorm in Buenos Aires, Judi - though it could be any given year, and in almost any month of the year.

Note the lady trying to protect her car with quilts - while having a close call herself.

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Response to sandensea (Reply #6)

Fri May 1, 2020, 03:12 AM

7. OMG, that poor lady. Undoubtedly she took some real shots before escaping back into the building.

Sure hope it helped save her car. Wow.

The hailstones in the first part of the video were monsters.

Hadn't heard the weather there is so dramatic!

Thanks for the video.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri May 1, 2020, 11:45 AM

8. My old boss, who lives in Orange, Virginia, had to have her new Honda Fit repaired after the roof

was seriously dented by golf-ball-sized hailstones in a storm a few years ago. Baseball-sized hail has been reported in Virginia, too. Very dangerous!

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