On 19 July, severe hailstorms affected large parts of Southern Europe. According to the experts of the European Severe Storms Laboratory (ESSL) so-called “giant hail” (hailstones with a diameter of more than 10 cm) was reported 24 times; 2 times in Croatia and 22 times in Italy!
In Croatia, the largest hailstone was found in Ribnik, estimated to be 13 cm in diameter. In Italy, the largest hailstone fell in Carmignano di Brenta. The specialists of the European Severe Weather Database (ESWD) estimate the size of this hailstone to be 16 cm in diameter, based on photos.
“According to our information, this would be the largest recorded hailstone in Europe”, says Thilo Kühne, Quality Control Manager of the European Severe Weather Database. “The previous record was a 15 cm hailstone from 20 June 2016 in Sânandrei, Romania”.
Besides enormous economic damage, the hail caused 109 injuries on that day alone, according to the European Severe Weather Database.
ESSL obtaining its data from a large European network of weather entusthiasts and cooperating weather services. The Italian cases, including the new record braking hailstone, were reported by PreTemp, which collaborates closely with ESSL.
The experts of ESSL and the European Severe Weather Database urge all people sending photos to the weather services or our data base, or posting hail pictures on social media, to use a ruler, coin or other reference objects next to the hailstones when making a picture. This makes it easier to estimate the exact size of hailstones.