Does large hail occur in the Chicago area?

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Dear Tom,

Does large hail occur in the Chicago area?

Thanks,
Bob Kozlik,
Riverwoods

Dear Bob,

The Chicago area gets most of its hail, during the spring and summer severe thunderstorm season. Fortunately, the majority of the hail that falls in this area is on the small size, ranging from pea(0.25-inch diameter) to nickel (0.88-inch diameter), but there are dozens of occurrences each year of larger stones ranging from 1-2 inches in diameter. The largest hailstone ever reported in the Chicago area and the state of Illinois was a softball size stone(4.75 inches in diameter) that fell in Minooka on June 10, 2015, shattering numerous windshields. Four-inch diameter hail also fell in Kankakee on June 8, 1981 and in Yorkville on May 12, 2000. The largest hailstone ever reported in the U.S. fell July 23, 2010, in Vivian, S.D. Characterized as cantaloupe-size, the stone measured 8 inches in diameter.

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