Very Large Hail in Dante South Dakota
August 21, 2007

Large hail fell across portions of southeast South Dakota Tuesday evening August 21, 2007. The small community of Dante, in southeast Charles Mix County, took a direct hit from the large hail. Most homes in Dante sustained considerable hail damage, with holes punched in almost every roof in town by the large hail.

The National Weather Service surveyed the damage on Wednesday, August 22, and the largest hailstone found on Wednesday was measured to be 5.25 inches in diameter. This hailstone was not picked up for 10 to 20 minutes after it fell, so it was likely larger when it hit the ground. The large hail created craters up to 10 inches by 12 inches in the yards throughout Dante. The largest hail fell at approximately 610 pm on August 21 2007.

Click any of the images below for a larger view.

Large hailstones which fell in Dante on August 21
Large hailstones from Dante, SD - August 21, 2007
Largest of these hailstones, measuring 5.25 inches
Closeup of hailstone in Dante, SD, measuring 5.25 inches - August 21, 2007
Divots caused by the large hail in Dante, SD.
Divot measuring 12 inches across caused by large hail in Dante, SD - August 21, 2007Divot measuring 9 to 10 inches across caused by large hail which fell in Dante, SD - August 21, 2007


While unusually large and very damaging, the Dante hail surveyed on Wednesday did not set a national or state record. However, later on Wednesday, we received further reports of larger hail than what had already been reviewed.  An additional survey was conducted by WFO Sioux Falls WCM Todd Heitkamp on Thursday, August 23.  What Todd found on Thursday was large enough to focus on the South Dakota state record, so our office worked with Dr. Dennis Todey, South Dakota State Climatologist, who traveled to Dante on Friday to make the official measurements. 

The largest hailstone (pictured below) documented in Dante was officially measured by Dr. Todey at
6 and 7/8 inches in diameter, with a circumference of 18.00 inches and a weight of 1.0 pound, which does set a new record for the state of South Dakota.  The previous South Dakota hailstone record was 6.00 inches in Custer County on June 22 1968.  Records for hail in South Dakota date back to 1950.

Nationally, the largest hailstone on record (based on diameter and circumference) occurred at Aurora, Nebraska, on June 22, 2003. The 2003 Aurora hailstone measured 7 inches in diameter, and had a circumference of 18.75 inches.  The Dante hailstone fell just short of this, coming in 1/8 inch shorter, and 3/4 inch smaller in circumference. 

Hailstone measuring 6 and 7/8 inches, compared to a softball and baseball
Hailstone measuring 6 and 7/8 inches across, compared to softball and baseball.
Circumference around the largest tips of the hailstone measured 18.00 inches
Circumference around the largest tips of the hailstone measured 18.00 inches
Holding the 6 and 7/8 inch hailstone which fell in her yard (name withheld per request)
Holding the 6 and 7/8 inch hailstone which fell in her yard.


Another very large hailstone was also documented in Dante on Thursday.  This hailstone (pictured below) measured 6 and 1/8 inches in diameter, with a circumference of 15.5 inches, although it was heavier with a weight of 1.25 pounds.  The heaviest hailstone on record in the United States fell in Coffeyville, Kansas, on September 3, 1970.  That stone weighed 1.65 pounds, still over 1/4 to 1/2 pound heavier than the Dante hailstones we recorded.

Hailstone measuring 6 and 1/8 inches, compared to a baseball and softball
Hailstone measuring approximately 6 and 1/8 inches across, compared to baseball and softball
Circumference around the largest tips of the hailstone measured 15.5 inches
Circumference around the largest tips of the hailstone measured 15.5 inches
Holding the 6 and 1/8 inch hailstone which fell in her yard (name withheld per request)
Holding the 6 and 1/8 inch hailstone which fell in her yard.


Other recent notable large hail in South Dakota includes 4.25 inches 2 miles south of Delmont in Douglas County on September 16 2006...and 4.25 inch diameter hail in Sully County 8 miles west of Agar on August 24 2006.


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