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No. 91: Jan-Feb 1994

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Remarkable Hailstones

Oddly shaped hailstones from Tulsa
Oddly shaped hailstones from the 1993 Tulsa fall. Such weird shapes are duplicated by the million by some unappreciated storm mechanism. Dimensions in mm.
October 16, 1993. Tulsa, Oklahoma.

"Circa 5:00 PM, CDT, anomaly witness Keith L. Partain, a trained entomological systematicist, heard a tornado siren. Funnel-like phenomena were reported by local weathercasters, one of which approached within one mile of the witness before it lost its vorticity. This was between 5:00-5:15 PM and parenthesized the interval of anomalous hail. In the target interval numerous hail peppered the area described above. Partain observered shapes which did not conform to spherical and collected several specimens, which he immediately froze."

See accompanying figure for shapes and dimensions.

(Partain, Keith L.; private communication, October 17, 1993.)

Comment. Often such grotesque hail-stones are produced in immense quantities -- a meteorological factory of the absurd -- and we do not know how this production line operates!

From Science Frontiers #91, JAN-FEB 1994. 1994-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987