Mysterious 'Basketball-Sized' Ice Chunk Crashes Through Wisconsin Home

A "basketball-sized" block of ice has crashed through the roof of a home in western Wisconsin.

The ice chunk struck at around 8:15 a.m. on Tuesday, smashing through the bedroom ceiling of the property near Elk Mound, a village northwest of Eau Claire, reported Wisconsin TV station WEAU.

The block reportedly weighed 12.6 pounds, according to WQOW TV.

The home's owner described it as a "basketball-sized hail," WEAU reported. However, a meteorologist for the TV station, Darren Maier, said the "ridiculously big" piece of ice was not considered hail because it was too large.

The homeowner, Ken Millermon, told WQOW: "It grazed me. I would've probably been out, kicked the bucket [if it landed on me].

"As soon as that came through, everything else was like dust of insulation. I couldn't see. All I know is God had to have been watching out for me because I could've died, I could've."

Typically, hailstones range in diameter from 0.25 inches ("pea sized") to 4.5 inches ("grapefruit sized"), according to the U.S. National Severe Storms Laboratory, part of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration.

The largest hailstone recorded in the U.S. fell in Vivian, South Dakota, on June 23, 2010. It had a diameter of 8 inches and weighed just under 2 pounds, according to the laboratory.

Hailstones form when "raindrops are carried upward by thunderstorm updrafts into extremely cold areas of the atmosphere and freeze," the laboratory added.

Although some thunderstorms were reported in the western Wisconsin area on Tuesday, they did not meet the criteria for severe weather. No severe thunderstorm warnings were issued by the National Weather Service for Eau Claire County on Tuesday morning, WEAU reported.

Todd Shea, the warning coordination meteorologist at the NWS in La Crosse, Wisconsin, told Newsweek: "We had various reports of large hail and damaging wind across the area last night," including several parts of Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Officials from the weather service in Chanhassen, Minnesota, said Tuesday morning's storms were not powerful enough to cause large hailstones, WQOW reported.

The chemistry and biochemistry department at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire has reportedly taken samples of the ice block for analysis, according to WQOW.

Newsweek has contacted the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire for comment.

According to Millermon, the crashing ice chunk caused more than $1,000 of damage to his home.

"We've got a $1,000 deductible, which, I don't know where we're going to come up with that before it can get fixed and there's more than $1,000 of damage up there," he told WQOW.

Large ice chunks seen in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Chunks of ice seen on January 30, 2019, on Lake Michigan in Kenosha, Wisconsin. A large block of ice smashed through the bedroom ceiling of a home in western Wisconsin on Tuesday morning. Dylan Buell/Getty Images