Violent thunderstorms across Nebraska and Iowa this week generated 80-to-100 mile-per-hour winds. But the really scary part for Midwesterners was being pelted with wind-propelled giant hailstones, which in some locations were as big as baseballs.
The meteorological fusillade smashed the windows of buildings and homes, tore holes in roofs and battered cars so badly that some had to be totaled, the Lincoln Journal Star reported.
"Basically, anything on the north side of a house or business is gone," explained Wilber, Neb. resident Scott Hayek.
It wasn't just buildings and cars that were damaged. In Friend, Neb., a farmer named Scott Spohn told TV station KLKN that his fields full of corn plants were shredded to pieces by the massive hail, destroying the entire crop.
The video above shows how bad it got in the town of Norfolk, Neb.
So where did these icy projectiles come from, and why did they get so big? According to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, hail forms when the updrafts inside a thunderstorm pick up water droplets and carry them into extremely cold areas of the atmosphere, where they freeze into ice.