ISLAMABAD                -                  A ferocious storm over Argentina two years ago produced the world’s largest hailstone, about the size of a football, scientists report. Hail over the heavily populated city of Villa Carlos Paz, Córdoba Province, Argentina in 2018 likely broke the record for the largest hailstone, US researchers claim. The biggest stone in the storm measured up to 9.3 inches (23.6cm) in diameter, which, if verified, would have beaten the current world record of eight inches. While the 9.3-inch stone was not preserved and cannot be officially verified as a record breaker, researchers also report a 7.1-inch stone from the same storm.

The hail in the storm was so large that scientists suggest a new category to describe stones bigger than six inches – ‘gargantuan’ hail. Any hailstone more than six inches in diameter can cause severe physical damage to houses and cars, as well as being capable of knocking someone unconscious with a direct blow to the head. Researchers say the public needs to be aware how big these natural blocks of ice can reach – not just in the US, which is famed for its large hail.