On the evening of June 15, 2023, several huge hailstones like the one pictured above, fell in and near Sanger in Denton County. One hailstone measured a whopping 5.9” in diameter and weighed in at nearly 1 pound. That set a new record for the largest hailstone to ever fall in North Texas. However, it’s not the largest to ever fall in the state of Texas. Believe it or not, a mammoth hailstone measuring 6.42” across fell in Hondo, Texas, back on April 28, 2021.


The powerful storms that produced the gargantuan hail, called supercells, were fueled by a tremendous amount of energy as temperatures warmed into the upper 90s with dew points well into the 70s. That type of very high instability promotes air parcels that are extremely buoyant, enabling these huge pieces of ice to remain suspended in the sub-freezing upper reaches of the storm by intense updrafts. Another factor at play, that produced the unusually large hail, is a process called aggregation. The hailstone in the photo is actually composed of a number of different large pieces of hail that clump together as they collide with one another. When the hailstone finally becomes too heavy to be supported by the updraft, it falls to the Earth. Hailstones this large can easily hit the surface at speeds of over 100 mph! It’s no wonder they can cause a tremendous amount of damage. Many of these hailstones penetrated rooftops of homes, shattered windows, and stripped trees of their leaves completely!