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SUMMER ON ICE

A Mexican city got nearly 60 inches of hail

Soldiers clear away ice after a heavy storm of rain and hail in Guadalajara
Reuters/Fernando Carranza
Cold comfort.
  • Ana Campoy
By Ana Campoy

Deputy editor, global finance and economics

Published This article is more than 2 years old.

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).

Reuters/Fernando Carranza
Navigate the new landscape in Guadalajara
Reuters/Fernando Carranza
The ice mounds were big enough to bury trucks.

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.

Reuters/Fernando Carranza
The hail made for treacherous terrain even for those tasked with clearing it.
Reuters/Fernando Carranza
Heavy machinery was also needed for the job.

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.

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