We were driving to a destination that is about an hour away from our home yesterday in the sweltering heat of almost a hundred degrees Fahrenheit. Not unusual for this time of year here in Iowa, for it is summer after all. The sun was gloriously shining when all of the sudden the sky turned gray. Maybe it was more than gray. Black clouds abruptly hid the sun and flashes of lighting started streaking across the horizon.
The temperature dropped more than 40 degrees in a matter of minutes. Strong gusty winds blew dust from the farm fields and torrential rain poured down making road visibility very difficult.
Then we heard loud pelting sounds on the windshield and roof of our car. Hail!
Some motorists sought shelter under the bridges, but we continued to drive, albeit slowly. We took a wrong turn and got delayed a little to where we were supposed to go.
Perhaps it was Divine providence that we got lost for when we arrived at our destination, people there told us that we just missed an awful hail storm. What we encountered on the road, which was marble-sized hail, was not bad compared to what it could have been if we did not get “lost.”
Leaves and branches from the trees loitered the ground. The cornfields were whipped down. Many of the parked cars in the area when we arrived had dents, and windows and sidings of the houses were damaged from the hail.
Here are some hailstones on the ground.
Here are bigger ones.
According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), hailstones form when strong currents of rising air, known as updrafts, carry droplets of water high enough that they freeze. The higher these droplets get, the cooler the temperature, even during a hot summer, that in fact, warmer weather might actually result in a stronger updraft. The hail falls when the thunderstorm’s updraft can no longer support the weight of the hailstone, which can occur if the stone becomes large enough or the updraft weakens.
Can you imagine if you’re hit with these golf-size hail coming to you at more than 100 miles per hour? That would be serious “bukol”(swelling).
But the storm did not last that long. In less than 30 minutes the sun was shining again, as if nothing have happened. Except for the cracked windows and car dents for souvenir.
(*photos taken with an iPhone)