VIVIAN, S.D., July 31 (UPI) -- A hailstone found in South Dakota measuring 8 inches in diameter has been declared the largest ever measured in the United States, meteorologists say.
The National Weather Service said in a release Friday Les Scott of Vivian, picked up the giant hailstone in his yard July 23 after a storm rolled through the area.
When officially measured by NWS staff in Aberdeen, and verified by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Climate Extremes Committee, the hailstone weighed 1.93 pounds and had a circumference of 18.625 inches.
The weather service ruled the chunk of ice set U.S. records for weight and diameter.
"I'm just glad nobody got hurt and hope the town will recover soon," Scott said.
The previous U.S. diameter record was set by a hailstone that fell in Aurora, Neb., on June 22, 2003, that measured 7 inches. The heaviest stone found previously was 1.67 pounds for one recovered in Coffeyville, Kan., in 1970.
The Aurora stone, at 18.75 inches, is still the largest in circumference ever officially measured in the United States.
David Hintz, warning coordination meteorologist at NOAA's Aberdeen weather forecast office, said a local power outage likely meant the hailstone shrank before it was measured.
"Mr. Scott told me the area was littered with large hailstones and the largest had a greater diameter when he first found it," Hintz said. "He immediately stored it and several others in his freezer, but a power outage caused some melting."