BELL COUNTY, Texas (KWTX) – The Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety scanned the massive hailstone found Tuesday, April 12 near Salado, Texas and found it to have a maximum diameter of 5.676 inches, a mass of 409 .3 grams (about 0.90 pounds) and had a volume of 29.5 cubic inches.
The measurements, reported to the National Weather Service, make it the largest hailstone ever found in central Texas.
However, the hailstone was not large enough to break the Texas State record set by a giant hailstone found in Hondo, Texas on April 28, 2021. This stone had a maximum diameter of 6.416 inches.
Salado resident Gina Brown found the massive hailstone after an EF3 tornado struck her area on Tuesday.
“This banging started on the roof. My dog was in my closet and he was freaking out,” Brown said. “I just started making a video. I couldn’t believe the amount of hailstones in the front yard.”
Brown found the so-called “Salado Stone”.
It was larger than normal and she shared the photo with the KWTX weather team. When KWTX shared the photo on social media, it immediately received thousands of reactions, shares and interactions.
To find out if the stone set a new record, it had to be preserved. “Someone said, ‘Please put this in a freezer bag and put it in your fridge right away,’” Brown recalled.
Experts from the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Security immediately flew to central Texas from South Carolina, bringing with them the equipment needed to survey the stone.
“The Salado Stone competes with the Hondo Stone that we scanned last year. It measured 6.416 inches,” said Christina Gropp, meteorologist at the Insurance Institute for Corporate and Home Security.
Gropp’s team had to act quickly to measure the Salado Stone before it melted and lost mass.
The stone was sprayed with a preservative before 3D scans were taken.
Why is it important to take these measurements?
“It allows us to better understand hailstones, how they form, how they grow in size and shape,” Gropp said, “so we can better prepare our homes and businesses for future hailstorms.”
After hours of measurements, the Salado stone reached 5.676 inches, slightly less than the Hondo stone.
Regardless, experts agree that the Salado Stone is something special.
“This rock is very unique in all its bumps and crevices,” Gropp said.
These bumps and crevices are captured forever in a 3D printed model that is sent to Brown, who keeps the model in her office and the original in her freezer for as long as possible.
“It’s pretty cool,” she said, “pun intended.”
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