A severe thunderstorm blasted the Denver area with giant hail on Monday afternoon, coating the roads in icy golf balls and smashing through windows and windshields.
The largest hailstone reported to the National Weather Service was 2.75 inches in diameter in Wheat Ridge just west of Denver, but we’ve seen photos of what look like larger stones — namely this softball-size rock of ice that fell on the campus of Metropolitan State University of Denver. That’s the kind of hail that busts through a windshield like it’s tissue paper.
The Denver Post says the storm brought down power lines and caused car crashes — probably because of slippery conditions. Even in parts of the metro area where the hail was only nickel-sized, it coated the roads in a thick sheet of ice.
Depending on the extent of the damage, this could be close to a billion-dollar weather disaster for Colorado. It’s not unheard of for hail storms to cause incredible insurance losses. In April 2017, a hailstorm in San Antonio resulted in $1.4 billion in losses and became the costliest hailstorm in Texas history, unadjusted.
Car damage was estimated at $560 million, and damage to homes was around $800 million, according to the insurance council of Texas as reported by the San Antonio Express. More than 110,000 vehicles were damaged by the storm.