SUMMER ON ICE

A Mexican city got nearly 60 inches of hail

Cold comfort.
Cold comfort.
Image: Reuters/Fernando Carranza
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Residents of Guadalajara got a reprieve from the summer heat after a storm covered parts of the Mexican city in a thick blanket of hail.

Ice rose up to a meter and a half (about 60 inches) in some areas, bringing traffic to a standstill and damaging at least 200 homes.

The mounds made for a strange scene in Guadalajara, where summer temperatures have been known to top 100°F (about 38°C).  Temperatures, which had reached the high 80s before the storm, dropped to the high 50s today (July 1).

Residents play on top of ice after a heavy storm of rain and hail in Guadalajara
Navigate the new landscape in Guadalajara
Image: Reuters/Fernando Carranza
Trucks are buried in ice after a heavy storm of rain and hail which affected some areas of Guadalajara
The ice mounds were big enough to bury trucks.
Image: Reuters/Fernando Carranza

Guadalajara, which sits about 200 miles east of Mexico’s Pacific coast, routinely gets rain during the summer. Authorities had warned residents to be cautious at the start of the rainy season in June, but yesterday’s storm was unprecedented, a Department of Defense spokesman told local media (link in Spanish.) The military and local authorities have been working to clear streers since the storm hit.

Security forces and soldiers try to clear away ice after a heavy storm of rain and hail in Guadalajara
The hail made for treacherous terrain even for those tasked with clearing it.
Image: Reuters/Fernando Carranza
A truck carries ice as it cleans the street after a heavy storm of rain and hail which affected some areas of the city in Guadalajara, Mexico
Heavy machinery was also needed for the job.
Image: Reuters/Fernando Carranza

Hail storms are caused when higher temperatures in the atmosphere turn the warm air that rises from the surface into ice, the BBC explained. Guadalajara’s mayor chalked it up to climate change.  “And we ask ourselves if climate change exists,” he tweeted on Sunday.