ADA, Oklahoma (KTEN) – Consider it SMASHED! The old record for the largest hailstone ever recorded in Pontotoc County is no more. An impressive hail core from a severe thunderstorm moved over Ada, Oklahoma on March 14, dropping hailstones larger than softballs. One hailstone in particular caught the eye of the National Weather Service (NWS) office in Norman, Oklahoma.


This hailstone, measuring at 5.25 inches in diameter, was recorded in southeast Ada. Elizabeth Jenkins gets bragging rights for observing and sending in this hailstone for further investigation.

New record hailstone in Pontotoc County observed on March 14, 2024


Upon investigating, the NWS office in Norman, Oklahoma determined that the hailstone destroyed the old record of 3.25 inches in diameter set back on March 26, 2017 in Francis, Oklahoma.

For reference, the all-time Oklahoma state record for largest hailstone is 6 inches in diameter and was measured in Caddo County.

Record hail statisitics in Oklahoma


Unfortunately, several had cracked windshields like the one shown below.

Smashed windshield in Ada, Oklahoma on March 14, 2024


Some windshields were even completely disintegrated from the historic hail that fell.

Destroyed windshield in Ada, Oklahoma on March 14, 2024


But, you may ask… why did the hail get so big? All storms need an updraft, or upward moving air, to grow and sustain themselves. This allows for water droplets to be lofted into the cloud deck and remain there, freezing and refreezing each time the water droplet moves up and down vertically within the cloud. Hailstones grow in size over time and when their size becomes too large, the stone falls to the ground.

Explainer on how hail forms


In the case of the storm that barreled through Ada, the updraft speed may have been well over 100 MPH!

Hail sizes and updraft speeds


This is an extremely rare event and only occurs with the strongest of thunderstorms. Unfortunately, with those rare events, damage can be significant and extremely costly.