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Asia - Pacific


Intense hail storm in Mexico blankets city in 150 cm of ice

Monday, July 1st 2019, 1:39 pm - The region is familiar with extreme weather, but this event was particularly unusual

While temperatures are usually in the high 20s and low 30s during this time of year in Guadalajara, an unusual storm brought a shocking surprise - over 1.5 metres of ice was dumped on the region after a severe hailstorm tracked through on June 29.

Footage shows trucks attempting to drive through the roads swallowed by ice, and many drivers had to abandon their vehicles when they could no longer break through the thick hail.

The government has stated that the Mexican Army is assisting with relief efforts and the mayor has stated that citizens whose homes have been affected will receive support.

Weather Network meteorologist Nadine Powell says that hail is not common in tropical climates, especially to this extent. She explains that a number of atmospheric conditions resulted in this extreme weather event including high CAPE (convective available potential energy) values, which is essentially the amount of energy in the atmosphere that is available for storms to develop, grow, and maintain themselves.

"Typically, the higher the CAPE value, the better the potential for stronger storms and bigger hail. Conditions aloft would have also needed to be colder than normal, and the environment would have had to maintain itself for a considerable length of time to produce such a prolific amount of hail," says Powell.


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