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Colorado, Hail Capital

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Courtesy of the National Weather Service
This hailstone fell outside of Bethune, Colorado, on Aug. 13, 2019.
Colorado, hail capital

Colorado’s largest recorded hailstone weighed more than half a pound. It was nearly 5 inches across, about the size of a softball. That whopper landed in Bethune near the Kansas border in August 2019.

Hailstones form when thunderstorm updrafts sweep raindrops up into very cold layers of the atmosphere, and freeze. When the hailstones get too heavy, they fall to earth. In most places, as hail falls, it melts completely – or into smaller pieces – before it hits the ground. But at Colorado’s altitudes, hail doesn’t have much time to melt before landing, and our thinner air means it falls faster.

Insurance numbers show the state had the country’s second highest number of hail claims, behind Texas. It’s one reason the Front Range and the high plains are known as the “hail capital” of North America.

About Colorado Postcards

Colorado Postcards

Colorado Postcards are snapshots of our colorful state in sound. They give brief insights into our people and places, our flora and fauna, and our past and present, from every corner of Colorado.