Photo credit: AFP via Twisted Sifter
A freak summer hailstorm left Guadalajara, Mexico buried in up to six feet of ice Sunday. Fortunately, only damaged homes and cars were reported and no human injuries. The ice tall was enough to cover vehicles’ wheels, and many suggested that climate change may be the cause of the ice storm. Local officials also reported flooding and fallen trees, as the storm hit very quickly, between about 01:50 (06:50 GMT) and 02:10 local time, when the air temperature dropped suddenly from 22C (72F) to 14C (57F). Read more for two videos and additional information.
The city had been basking in temperatures of more than 30C (86F) and is no stranger to hail storms, even during the summer, but seldom this heavy. Hailstorms basically form when warm, moist air from the surface rises upwards forming showers and storms. Authorities stated that 200 homes have been damaged and dozens of vehicles swept away in the city and surrounding districts.
“To a meteorologist the evidence of why this was such a powerful storm can be seen in this satellite cloud loop. You can see a line of clouds, an atmospheric boundary of some sort, moving southward. The boundary could be a dividing line between dry and moist, warm and cool or simply a wind shift. Whatever it is, it seems to have ignited and/or helped feed the hail storm. The storm is feeding off warm, moist air to its north of which it has a seemingly endless supply partly because it’s the only thunderstorm cluster around so it can hog all the energy, it doesn’t have to share with other storm activity,” said CBS News meteorologist Jeff Berardelli.