Baseball to softball-size hail recently fell in portions of Texas and Oklahoma. What is the largest hail that has fallen in the Chicago area?
—Barry V. Barrington
While small hail, stones that ranges in size from pea (0.25-inch diameter) to nickel (0.88 inches) is most common in the Chicago area, there are dozens of hail occurrences each year with stones in the 1- to 2-inch range. The largest hailstone ever reported in the Chicago area and Illinois was a softball-size stone (4.75 inches in diameter) that battered Minooka on June 10, 2015. Four-inch diameter hail also fell in Kankakee on June 8, 1981, and in Yorkville on May 12, 2000. The largest hailstone in the U.S. fell on July 23, 2010, in Vivian, South Dakota. It was 8 inches in diameter, about the size of a volleyball, and weighed just under two pounds.