This photo provided by KWTV shows a hail stone, Sunday,...

This photo provided by KWTV shows a hail stone, Sunday, June 2, 2024, near Vigo Park, Texas. The National Weather Service in Lubbock, Texas, said they believe the stone, which measured more than 7 inches long, is a new state record. Credit: AP/Val Castor

VIGO PARK, Texas — Storm trackers in the Texas Panhandle recovered a massive hail stone that researchers say is likely to be a new state record.

Val and Amy Castor, veteran storm chasers with Oklahoma City television station KWTV, discovered a piece of hail more than 7 inches (17.78 centimeters) long Sunday along the side of the road near Vigo Park while they were chasing a major thunderstorm system.

Val Castor said the stone was about the size of a pineapple.

“That's the biggest hail I've ever seen, and I've been chasing storms for more than 30 years,” Castor said.

Castor said several baseball-sized hail stones fell while he was driving, including one that cracked his windshield, before he spotted the big piece in a ditch on the side of the road.

“I could see it from probably 100 yards away,” he said.

The massive hail stone is believed to be a new state record, topping a 6.4-inch (16.25-centimeter) hail stone found in Hondo in 2021. It still must be confirmed by a group of researchers that includes the Texas state climatologist, said Jordan Salem, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Lubbock.

This photo provided by KWTV shows a hail stone, Sunday,...

This photo provided by KWTV shows a hail stone, Sunday, June 2, 2024, near Vigo Park, Texas. The National Weather Service in Lubbock, Texas, said they believe the stone, which measured more than 7 inches long, is a new state record. Credit: AP/Val Castor

The heaviest hail stone on record in the United States had a reported diameter of 11 inches (27.94 centimeters) and weighed nearly 2 pounds (907 grams). It was discovered near Vivian, South Dakota, in July 2010, according to the National Centers for Environmental Information.

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