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Record-Tying Hail Pummels Northern California

Hailstones measuring three inches in diameter fell near the city of Red Bluff in northern California on Saturday, tying a record for the largest-sized hail to hit anywhere in the state in more than 50 years.

The National Weather Service tweeted a picture of the hail on Monday.

According to CBS San Francisco, the massive hail that fell in Tehama County on Saturday afternoon ties the record first set in southeast San Diego County in 1960.

But while the odd-shaped ice balls tie the record for largest hail ever to fall in California, the San Francisco Chronicle notes that Saturday’s hail was practically minuscule compared to record-shattering hailstones that fell in Vivian, South Dakota in 2010.

One of those hailstones measured an astounding 8 inches in diameter, weighed nearly two pounds and had a circumference of more than 18.5 inches, despite being partially melted.

The current record El Niño in the Pacific continues to drive powerful storms that have drenched much of California, which is still reeling from the effects of a four-year-long drought.

The National Weather Service announced Monday that snowpack in the Sierra Mountain range was at 117% of average, the highest total for this time of year since 2011. State officials have said that snowpack levels must reach 150% of average by April 1 to declare an end to the drought.

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