The Giant Hailstone

Originally posted in 2010

Listening to the weather forecast for the next few days, I realized we will be seeing an increase in temperatures by about 60 degrees from earlier this week. There is still ice and snow on the ground in the shady areas of my back yard, but I’ll probably be able to hang out in short sleeves over the weekend.

Crazy Texas weather!

Speaking of, as most of you know it is the seemingly constant clash of very warm and very cold air that brings us our infamous thunderstorms and tornadoes in the spring and fall here in North Texas. I recall one spring weekend day when I was about 10 years old, a violent storm passed over my neighborhood in Oak Cliff, located in southwest Dallas. My two younger sisters and I were at home with our dad – lucky him! Of course we were panicked by the storm, but we were also in awe of it as we watched large hailstones pummel our front yard and, unfortunately, our car as we had no garage or car port.

As the three of us girls watched out the screen door, we became determined to locate the largest hailstone and put it in the freezer so we could show our mom when she arrived home. (I don’t remember where she was that Saturday, but she and my infant brother were probably at the grocery store as usual on the weekend.) As we peered through the screen door, competing with each other’s eyesight, our gazes simultaneously fell upon a huge, round, white object across the street. It was so enormous we yelled at our dad to come to the door and see it.

“Daddy, Daddy . . . come look at this giant piece of hail!  Please go get it so we can save it in the freezer!”  The hail was loudly pounding our roof as my dad reluctantly came to the door. I remember his very puzzled look as he peered outside. Typically we girls were a bit over dramatic, but this time he too was in shock about the size of this hailstone. We begged him to run across the street and get the giant stone as we moved food around in our small refrigerator’s freezer to make room for it.

He did.

In great anticipation, we watched as our dad picked up our record find.

Uh oh . . . the giant “hailstone” wasn’t what we thought it was – it was a discarded football helmet!

old football helmet

I still have a vision of my dad standing across the street holding the white helmet by the facemask that had been obstructed from our view.  No doubt, he felt very silly standing outside in the middle of a turbulent storm holding an old football helmet.  It didn’t help that we three little girls were laughing hysterically!  We watched as he tossed the helmet back into our neighbor’s yard – but in hindsight, he probably should’ve used it for head protection as he embarrassingly ran back to our house through the pounding hail.

To view the largest hailstone on record, go to:

Until next time,


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