At the end of June 2019, the citizens of Guadalajara, Mexico were astounded after a freak hailstorm left behind multiple feet of ice, damaged countless houses, and buried cars. What’s even more perplexing was that the storm hit in the middle of summer, with the past day’s temperatures reaching over 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
According to authorities, more than 450 houses were severely damaged by the downpour of hail with some being buried all the way up to their windows. On top of that, more than 10 people were treated for symptoms of hypothermia.
With Guadalajara being the most populated city in Mexico, over 1.5 million people were affected and required machinery to help dig people out of their homes and clear the street. Governor Enrique Alfaro Ramírez notes that the storm was unlike anything they have ever seen before and hopes it will open people’s eyes to the adverse effects of climate change.
Of course, once the temperatures began to rise again, what was once the ice melted to turn into open rivers in the streets, with enough force to sweep away cars. This caused even more severe damage to the surrounding neighborhoods. In the Ranch Blanco part of the city, the ordeal destroyed 30 vehicles and over 60 homes.
John Allen, a meteorologist at Central Michigan University was perplexed by the amount of hail considering that most of the hailstones were around the size of a marble. He commented: “Given that Guadalajara is well into the subtropics, you tend to have a significant influence in melting as hailstones fall from the cloud toward the surface, and so actually getting hail to stay on the ground like this requires the extreme volumes of hailstones to cool the air near the ground.”
Fortunately, the ice melted within a matter of days.