South Dakota can have some pretty epic storms. In fact, the Mount Rushmore State is known to have some of the most powerful thunderstorms in the US. So, it shouldn't be a surprise that a hailstone broke a world record for its size and width in the central part of the state. But where did this record-sized hail drop and in what town?

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July 23, 2010 (A World-Record Hail Storm)

Credit: Canva
Credit: Canva

During the late afternoon and early evening hours of 23 July 2010, thunderstorms developed over portions of central South Dakota. Several storms quickly became severe in an environment favorable for supercell thunderstorms.  In particular, one very strong supercell thunderstorm moved southeastward across portions of Stanley, Jones, and Lyman counties.  One of the hardest hit locations was the community of Vivian, South Dakota, where extremely large hail, destructive winds to 80 mph, and a brief tornado were reported. 

A record setting hailstone was ultimately discovered in Vivian, measuring 8.0 inches in diameter, 18.625 inches in circumference, and weighing in at an amazing 1.9375 pounds!!  This hailstone broke the previous United States hail size record for diameter (7.0 inches - 22 June 2003 in Aurora, NE) and weight (1.67 pounds - 3 September 1970 in Coffeyvile, KS).  The Aurora, Nebraska hailstone will retain the record for circumference (18.75 inches).

-NOAA Website

it should be noted that the stone did shrink considerably after it fell and before it could be officially measured, so it could have been even larger.

To learn more about the record breaking hailstone of Vivian, South Dakota, check out the article from NOAA here.

Mount Rushmore's Secret Chamber

Many of us have had the pleasure of visiting South Dakota's most famous monument, Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills.

But, did you know there's a secret chamber in Mount Rushmore?

Gallery Credit: Andy Gott

Story Sources: NOAA Weather Website,

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