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The Biblical Hailstone

The Worst Storm in History
Hailstone Details
The Calculation: Hailstone Size
The Calculation: Hailstone Speed
The Mail: Flam'n Mail

The Worst Storm in History

By Matthew Kneisler

NOAA Photo Library, NOAA Central Library; OAR/ERL/National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL)


The winds blew, lightning flashed and thunder boomed. Trees bowed as the mighty winds rushed over them like a wild river. Leaves twist and turned wildly, finally snapping and shooting off with the driving winds. Winds so strong, no man could stand upright and no loose thing could stay still.

The sky was black from debris. Papers, leaves, dirt and dust swirled and then shot into the current of violent winds along with all the other flotsam. Shingles flapped incessantly; some loosing their hold, joining the whipping winds, flying to an unknown destination.

The intensity of the storm created tornadoes left and right. As if to toy with their recipient, the tornado would quickly twist down from its high perch, briefly touch the earth and shoot back up to the cloud from which it came. It was hard to tell if all of the damage was from the tornadoes or the driving winds.

As the thunder cracked, it not only rocked my house but startled my inner most being. My stomach ached as I watched the fury outside my door. I had never seen a storm like this one. As lightning struck, it exploded with a violent crash and lit up the sky showing the monstrous clouds. Clouds that towered so high. I could not see the tops.

I have seen storms before, but never like this. Before this one, storms seemed to have an unusual beauty. Something to be admired because of its distant power. But now it was different, this storm was not like that. It was not distant and weak, but it was very close. It was right on top of me and my family and extremely strong.

I watched with utter amazement, as the sprinkling of rain turned into an out and out down pour. Instantly the streets flooded and became tiny rivers. And as the rain grew, so did the winds.

It was all happening with such rapidity, so intense, so quick, so unmerciful. I watched my neighbor's house as shingles hung on for dear life, flapped their last and were now part of the mass of trash flying in the air. What was once a covered roof, was now bare. The exposed wood stood its ground the best it could but soon weaken from the onslaught of driving winds. Boards nailed on tight were pried loose by the ghostly strong winds. I felt my own house rock and reel from the intensity outside.

I was wet with sweat, my mouth dry to the bone. I was cold and scared. I began to loose hope. No one, no where was safe. There was no place to hide; the wind would find you. There was no place of safety; the wind would find you. I felt as if I was tasting death.

There was no sign of this storm dying down. Instead it got worse. The lightning continued to let us see what the storm would bring our way. My neighbor's roof was completely gone. A skeleton of a home remained. And even this began to shake and shudder. I was afraid to leave my place for fear of seeing the remains of what was protecting me and my family.

The lightning showed us something more horrible than I ever imagined. Something I would have never dreamed possible. Something that would have appeared as pure fiction, if only I had not seen it with my own eyes: hail. This was not marble or golf ball size. It was not even softball size but that of a basketball ball.

My family and I clung to one another as these balls of ice struck the surface of the earth. I watched in horror as one bomb after another hit my car. The first one busted the front windshield breaking the dashboard and sent pieces flying. The next one was bigger. And the next one bigger still. The biggest one was twice the size of the first, the size of two basketballs. One just missed the car, exploded on the driveway and pieces of ice shot everywhere. I felt a sting on my cheek and knew that I had been hit. Blood trickled down my face as I looked down to see that my son had been hit by a bigger piece of the shrapnel.

As I comforted him, I heard an explosion in my house. Hail, twice the size of a basketball, was pounding my home into the ground. My neighbor's home was now a broken skeleton. Pieces of the frame were still standing but most of it lay as rubble or blown away by the ever-present pounding wind.

I watched the hail destroy everything in its path. My car was pile of mangled metal. My yard was full of deep muddy pot holes from each of the mortars from the sky. The hail continued, my hope was gone and I began to cry. I hugged my son as the tears stung the cut on my cheek.

I looked up to the sky remembering the worst earthquake in history that we had just experienced and now this, the worst storm in history. What could possibly be next, the return of Christ?

Hailstone Details

NOAA Photo Library, NOAA Central Library; OAR/ERL/National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL)

What you have just read is a possible scenario during the worst storm on the earth which will generate hail which weighs a talent.

Indulge me for a few moments.

The book of Revelation describes the seals, trumpets and plagues to come upon mankind. The final blow in this series of events is the great hail.

Rev 16:21 And great hail from heaven fell upon men, every hailstone about the weight of a talent. And men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, since that plague was exceedingly great. (NKJV)

The great hail could be called, "the straw that breaks the camel's back". For this final blow causes Babylon the Great to be destroyed.

Rev 18:2 And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, "Babylon the great has fallen, is fallen, and has become a habitation of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird!

If you read over these scriptures quickly, without thought, one might not consider the implications of hail that weighs a talent. However, there is more to this hail than just great weight.

About five years ago, I heard a sermon from one of God's ministers on this subject. He commented that the winds to sustain large hailstones would have to be incredible. His word "incredible" left a lot to the imagination. And it is here that I began my study and I invite you to come along.

For the past eleven years, I have been an Aeronautical Engineer for FlightSafety International . Utilizing my knowledge of the atmosphere, aerodynamics and physics, and taking the spark from the sermon, I proceeded to analyze this biblical hailstone.

Needless to say, the results of my study were fascinating and mind boggling. It allowed me to understand quickly the intense magnitude and power these hailstones will have and what level of destruction it will bring to mankind. Let me begin:

Great hail is mentioned several times in the bible. These occurrences are referenced by other scriptures which include in the discussion: storms, flooding rains, fire, brimstone and strong winds.

Ez 13:11,13 "say to those who plaster it with untempered mortar, that it will fall. There will be flooding rain, and you, O great hailstones, shall fall; and a stormy wind shall tear it down. Therefore thus says the Lord God: "I will cause a stormy wind to break forth in My fury; and there shall be a flooding rain in My anger, and great hailstones in fury to consume it.

Ez 38:22 "And I will bring him to judgment with pestilence and bloodshed; I will rain down on him, on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, flooding rain, great hailstones, fire, and brimstone.

Is 30:30 The Lord will cause His glorious voice to be heard, and show the descent of His arm, with the indignation of His anger and the flame of a devouring fire, with scattering, tempest, and hailstones.

Job 38:22-23 Have you entered the treasury of snow, or have you seen the treasury of hail, which I have reserved for the time of trouble, for the day of battle and war?

Psalms 135:7 He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; He makes lightning for the rain; He brings the wind out of His treasuries.

Jeremiah 51:16, When He utters His voice - There is a multitude of waters in the heavens: "He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; He makes lightnings for the rain; He brings the wind out of His treasuries." (See also Jer 10:13.)

All of these scriptures describe the same future event. Note that in addition to the hail, all of the above scriptures also mention great winds and stormy conditions which are associated with it. In order to have great hail, there must be a great storm. Picture in your mind very strong winds knocking over buildings and spawning tornadoes; intense, driving rain amidst bright lightning flashes illuminating flooding streets and fields; and finally, great hail the weight of a talent falling from the turbulent skies smashing everything in its path. This event has not yet occurred. Ironically, the world's greatest storm must follow the world's greatest earthquake.

Also note, the word treasury and treasuries mentioned in the above scriptures come from the same Hebrew word (#214) as noted in Strong's Concordance. Not only can the word mean a storehouse for treasure but t can also mean an armory. This later definition comes alive in the following paragraphs.

The largest hailstone ever recorded fell September 3, 1970 in Coffeyville, Kansas. It weighed 1.68 pounds and had a diameter of 5.5 inches or slightly larger than the largest softball.

If we use the density of the Coffeyville hailstone and assume a biblical talent to be 75 pounds, the biblical hailstone will have a diameter of 19.8 inches. Can you picture this hailstone yet? You say no. Well let me help you.

A regulation basketball is nine inches in diameter. Therefore, if you put two basketballs end to end, you would almost have the diameter of the biblical hailstone. Get out a ruler and measure this distance. Draw a circle with this diameter. Blow up a very large balloon with this dimension. (Some children's punching balloons have an 18 inch diameter.) Now, can you picture the size of this hailstone? I think so. Remember that "every hailstone about the weight of a talent" was to fall. Some will be smaller and some will be larger.

Think for a moment at the size of this phenomena. Think of the damage these 75 pound, 19.8 inch balls of ice will cause! Remember the last hailstorm you experienced? Wasn't the ground white from all the hail? Didn't it fall everywhere? Do you remember news reports of "hail damage"? And how crops, homes, cars and businesses were severely damaged or destroyed? Consider that the average size of hail in these storms is 0.4 inches. Now consider what 19.8 inches of hail could do! But wait! There is more to this story.

Again, using basic elements of physics and aerodynamics, one can compute additional information on this mind boggling freak of nature: its speed.

Any free falling object dropping through our atmosphere reaches a speed called terminal velocity. This speed is a function of altitude because the air is "thicker" near the ground than it is far above the surface. Enough said. Near sea level, a 75 pound, 19.8 inch ball will have a terminal velocity or speed of 370 miles per hour! (The greatest storm on earth, the hurricane, has on occasion reached only 185 miles per hour!)

Again I ask, think for a moment at the speed of this phenomena. Think of the damage this will cause! Not only will this kind of hail break the stalk and scatter the seed, but it will plant it several feet deep! Not only will this kind of hail crash through the roof of a house, but it will cause explosive shrapnel effects decimating the contents with shards and pellets of ice. The weight, size and speed of this great hail are unbelievable. One piece of hail is comparable to today's modern weaponry. (Remember the word treasury could also mean armory!) However, it will not be a few pieces of hail here and there but possibly hundreds of thousands or millions of pieces of hail. Remember the white lawn after a normal hail storm? Entire cities will be smashed beneath the persistent blows of these mortars from heaven. Now what weaponry, what arsenal that man currently posses comes close to these characteristics? None! This is a punishment from the hand of God. And remember, this hail storm comes after the world has experienced the worst earthquake in man's history! (Rev 16:18)

Let me give you a little more detail regarding the speed of the hailstone as it is being created. Envision a massive storm cloud forming these unusually gigantic hailstones. If these massive cloud tops reached 100,000 feet above the ground, and if the hailstones formed at this point, the winds to sustain and create the hailstone would be 3,171 miles per hour! Recall that I mentioned a sermon I heard which started my study. That minister was right. The winds to sustain a large hailstone would be "incredible".

As you can see, God has in store a horrible tribulation for an unrepentant mankind. So many people continually break God's laws (sin): ignoring God for self-interests, taking God's name in vain, breaking the Sabbath, dishonoring parents, murders, wars and abortions, committing adultery and fornication, stealing, lying and desiring what is not theirs. So many people are blinded by Satan that they will never prepare for this time. In fact people will not understand and curse God for the devastation of this hail. (See Revelation 16:21 again.)

Let us prepare ourselves for the coming evil, pray for God's protection and the soon coming of His son, Jesus Christ.

USAToday Article on Hail

The Calculation: Hailstone Size

* We must start by analyzing the Coffeyville hailstone. This hailstone had a weight of 1.68 pounds and a diameter of 5.581 inches.

* In order to determine the density of this hailstone, the volume of this sphere must be found.

Volume = 4*p*r3/3
= 4*3.14159*(5.581/2)3/3
= 91.04 in3

* Now density is computed.

Density = Weight/Volume
= 1.68/91.04
= 0.01845 lb/in3

* Knowing these numbers, we can now compute the biblical hailstone dimensions.

* We will reverse the equation for density and compute the biblical hailstone volume.

Volume = Weight/Density
= 75/0.01845
= 4065 in3

* And again, reverse the first equation and compute the radius.

Radius =(Volume*3/(4*p))1/3
= 9.9 inches

* And thus, a diameter of 19.8 inches.

The Calculation: Hailstone

  Diagram of Falling Hailstone * Definition of terms.

	D 	= drag force : lbs
	rho 	= air density : lb*s2/ft4
	V 	= velocity : ft/sec
	S 	= area : ft2
	Cd	= drag coefficient
	W 	= weight : lbs
	r 	= radius : ft

* Equate all forces. See above free body diagram of hailstone.

	D = 0.5*rho*V2*S*Cd
	W = D
	W = 0.5*rho*V2*S*Cd

* Rewrite equation and solve for velocity.

	V = ( 2*W/(rho*S*Cd))1/2

* The cross sectional area of the hailstone must be computed.

	S = p*r2
	S = 3.14159 * (9.9/12)2
	S = 2.14 ft2

* The drag coefficient for a sphere of this size with a Reynolds number of 1.0*106 or greater will be 0.1.

* The hailstone speed at sea level is computed, using an air density of 0.0023769.

	V = ( 2*W/(rho*S*Cd))1/2
	V = (2*75/(0.0023769*2.14*0.1))1/2
	V = 543 ft/sec
	V = 370 mph

* The hailstone speed at 100,000 feet is computed, using an air density of 0.00003244.

	V = ( 2*W/(rho*S*Cd))1/2
	V = (2*75/(0.00003244*2.14*0.1))1/2
	V = 4651 ft/sec
	V = 3171 mph

The Mail: Flam'n Mail

I knew it would come. Anyone who makes a public statement is subject to the masses. Will the masses approve? Will they NOT approve? Does it matter? Who cares?

This response was eloquently worded and to the point. Do you feel this way? Am I "out of line" with this information? Read on, make up you own mind and let me know.

I think it is sad that a person with as much education would waste his time and talent on such endeavors. You do a disservice not only to yourself and family but ironically to the Christian faith that you seem to think that you promote. The mistake that you make is that you try to interpret the bible as literal fact instead of metaphorically. When viewed as such they become marvelous tales that speak to the heart and touch our spirit. When interpreted literally they become hollow and lose their power -- how sad.

And when the people of world all interpret their religious teachings as fact, this is when wars erupt -- middle east, Ireland, etc. -- for when one believes that god is only on his side is when humans become neurotic, vicious and cruel.

I would suggest that you start reading mythology of other cultures and see if you can appreciate and understand those stories and what they say about the human condition/spirit. I think you'll be surprised at the similarities you'll find. But please don't waste my time ... promoting your personal beliefs with fairy tailes. -- JH Colorado

WOW! Smok'n hot! What did you think? Do you agree? Do you disagree? Are you wasting your time here? Either way let me know. If it's smok'n hot or comfy cozy I just might post it. The choice is yours. I'm ready for Your Thoughts!