'It's incredible – this is the extreme upper end of what you'd expect from hail,' said Matthew Kumjian, associate professor at Penn State University in the US.The article also quotes Kumjian as saying: "'Anything larger than about a quarter of that in size can start putting dents into your car – in some rare cases, six-inch hail has actually gone through roofs and multiple floors in houses." The article goes on to discuss other large hail stones, some unconfirmed, that have been reported or captured on video. Although the article doesn't provide the weight of this particular stone, it related that "there is a report of a hailstone in Bangladesh in 1986 that was recorded to have a mass of 1.02 kg," a world record.
'Such a well-observed case is an important step forward in understanding environments and storms that produce gargantuan hail, and ultimately how to anticipate and detect such extreme events.
Large hail can be deadly. I was reminded of this finding, reported in 2004 in the Telegraph, of a group possibly as large as 600 people that were killed by a sudden hail storm in the Himalayas. From the article:
For 60 years the skeletal remains of more than 200 people, discovered in 1942 close to the glacial Roopkund Lake in the remote Himalayan Gahrwal region, have puzzled historians, scientists and archaeologists. Were they soldiers killed in battle, royal pilgrims who lost their way and succumbed to hypothermia, or Tibetan traders who died of a mysterious illness?The article also reports:
Now, the first forensic investigation of one of the area's most enduring mysteries has concluded that hundreds of nomads - whose frozen corpses are being disgorged from ice high in the mountain - were killed by one of the most lethal hailstorms in history.
Scientists commissioned by the National Geographic television channel to examine the corpses have discovered that they date from the 9th century - and believe that they died from sharp blows to their skulls, almost certainly by giant hailstones. "We were amazed by what we found," said Dr Pramod Joglekar, a bio-archaeologist at Deccan College, Pune, who was among the team who visited the site 16,500ft above sea level.
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the heaviest hailstones on record weighed up to 2.2lb and killed 92 people in Bangladesh in 1986.Radiocarbon dating put the deaths of the group in the Himalayas as being in 850 A.D.
The National Geographic team believes that those who died at Roopkund were caught in a similar hailstorm from which they were unable to find cover. The balls of ice would have been falling at more than 100mph, killing some victims instantly. Others would have fallen, stunned and injured, and died soon afterwards of hypothermia.
These size stones are nothing compared to what we will see after the opening of the 7th Seal. Revelation 16:21 states: "And great hail from heaven fell upon men, each hailstone about the weight of a talent. Men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, since that plague was exceedingly great." The weight of a talent varies between different civilizations and time periods. However, The Encyclopedia Britannica states that "[t]he Hebrew talent, or kikkār, probably of Babylonian origin, was the basic unit of weight among the ancient Hebrews. In the sacred system of weights, the Talmudic talent was equal to 60 Talmudic minas." It also indicates that "[t]he Hebrew sacred mina has been estimated at 499 grams (about 18 ounces)." That gives us a weight of 29,940 grams, or 66 pounds, for a talent.