BETHUNE, Colo. — The Colorado Climate Center said a hailstone that fell Tuesday near Bethune might have broken the state's size record at 4.83 inches -- the long-standing state record is 4.5 inches.
"It is very cool. Yeah, we are definitely nerding out," said Becky Bolinger, the assistant state climatologist at the Colorado Climate Center at Colorado State University (CSU). She and her boss, state climatologist Russ Schumacher, were involved in Tuesday's measurements with NWS Goodland.
"We kind of converged on that house, and we were just a bunch of excited scientists taking pictures," she said.
Measurements of the Tuesday hailstone are considered unofficial until CSU climatologists work with committee members from other agencies to consider social media photos and measurements along with other measurements, the National Weather Service, Goodland tweeted.
The National Weather Service and Colorado Climate Center, along with some federal agencies, will meet to discuss the hailstone's measurements before updating any official records.
Bolinger said the family who found the hail was lucky: there didn't appear to be any significant property damage from the storm, despite the large hailstones that fell into their yard.
"This is the best way to get a record," Bolinger joked. "Have something amazingly big fall on your property but not cause any damage."
Schumacher, the state climatologist, said researchers with the insurance industry may also wish to study the hailstone, and could possibly make a 3D printed replica.
The Colorado Climate Center said they would consider a well-photographed hailstone with a proper measurement as enough documentation for a record review, but if you think you’ve got a record-breaker on your hands, you can put it in a plastic bag, and store it in the freezer until experts can inspect it for themselves.
That state record of 4.5 inches has been verified 20 times, the last time being July 2011. It’s happened three times in the month of August.
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