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Big hailstones? Here's the best way to photograph and report hail

Is it the size of a pingpong ball or a hen egg? What's the best way to get your report to the National Weather Service? Here are the answers.

DENVER — As severe weather moves into the Front Range on Wednesday afternoon, the National Weather Service in Boulder shared some guidance on the best way to report hail size.

When taking photos of hailstones, set them next to a ruler, coins, golf balls, tennis balls or baseballs to give a good size comparison. Holding them in your hand likely doesn't give a good measurement, and neither does putting them next to marbles. Why? Because not all marbles, or hands, are of equal size.

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> The video above aired on April 22, 2019

According to the NWS, some good size comparisons are:

  • Dime/penny: 0.75 inches
  • Nickel: 0.88 inches
  • Quarter: 1 inch
  • Half dollar: 1.25 inches
  • Pingpong ball: 1.5 inches
  • Golf ball: 1.75 inches
  • Hen egg: 2 inches
  • Tennis ball: 2.5 inches
  • Baseball: 2.75 inches
  • Tea cup: 3 inches
  • Grapefruit: 4 inches
  • Softball: 4.5 inches

The biggest hailstone ever recorded in Colorado fell on Bethune on Aug. 13, 2019. It was 4.83 inches in diameter, weighed 8.5 ounces and had a circumference of 12.875 inches.

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The best way to send hail reports and photos to the National Weather Service is to tag @NWSBoulder on Twitter. Include the location, with the cross streets, the maximum measured hailstone size and the time of observation.

A photo of hailstones with a ruler is also helpful, the NWS said.

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If you have a weather report, photo or video to share, you can contact the 9NEWS Weather Team in these ways:

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