CULLMAN COUNTY, Ala. -- Even though the storms from Monday left extensive damage, one pretty cool scientific discovery came out of them. A man in Cullman County found what may be the largest hailstone in the state of Alabama.
An onslaught of hail poured down across the Tennessee Valley during Monday night's storm. "It sounded a little like the sky caved in. Had a chicken little moment there," said Craig Mann, the hail's owner.
People started sharing pictures of the large hailstones but none may compare to the one that Craig Mann found at his home in Cullman County. And it may be making records.
"It looks like it would probably be the original, initial record for the state of Alabama in terms of largest hailstone," said Chris Darden, Meteorologist in Charge at the National Weather Service in Huntsville. He mentioned that while they've seen plenty the size of baseballs and softballs, this one is a size up.
The hail littered the front yard, creating divots measuring three inches in diameter.
The size of the stone caught the attention of the National Weather Service in Huntsville who came out to Mann's home to evaluate the hail.
"Certainly for this part of the country, this size hailstone is unusual," said Darden.
They measured it at 13.75 inches in circumference, 5.25 inches in peak width and weighed it in at 8.9 ounces.
"To see a hailstone the size of 5.25" in the state of Alabama is probably unprecedented," said Darden.
And while the find is scientifically cool, Mann reflected on the loss his neighbors experienced.
"Of course we've had a lot of tragedy, you know through this part of Cullman County. A lot of people have lost a lot of property," explained Mann.
But he hopes a little something good comes from his find. "I'm glad to be able to give them a smile."
So what's next? "It's gonna stay in the freezer until the National Weather Service lets me know, 'til they decide what they're gonna do with it. Then who knows, may end up in a glass of tea."
That'd be one refreshing glass.
The National Weather Service says next they will take those measurements to the state climatologist and officials in Asheville to certify the record.