Baseball-size Hail Hits Italy
Another freak thunderstorm in Europe has dropped massive and destructive hailstones the size of baseballs, causing widespread damage and injuring several people and animals.
We reported last week that 2 separate storms, one in Mexico and the other in Spain, had caused widespread damage due to hail, but this new one comes out of Italy. The storm, which struck September 5, was caused by a southward plunge of the jet stream into western Europe creating a potent upper disturbance throughout the Italian peninsula. The instability, which created a perfect storm scenario over the Mediterranean sea, eventually slipped into Italy toward the city of Naples.
Senior meteorologist for Weather.com, Jonathan Erdman said,
The satellite signature was classic for a severe thunderstorm, or cluster of storms. Baseball-size hailstones fall from thunderstorms at speeds of at least 75 mph, so it’s no wonder you can see the magnitude of smashed windshields and structural damage.
The very smashed windshields as shown here.
And this incredible image showing splashes of water off the side of a small boat in the middle of the tumult.
Some hailstones were reported to way as much as 340 grams (3/4 lb.).
NOAA estimates hail causes about $1 billion in damage to crops and property each year in the U.S. with rare individual hailstorms inflicting over $1 billion in damage alone, like the one that hit St. Louis on April 10, 2001.
Even with the excitement and temporary chaos there is a bright side, as reported by Christopher Burt of Weather Underground, Europe’s most destructive hailstorm struck Munich, Germany, on July 12, 1984 where it caused an estimated $2 billion in damage, widespread and affecting 70,000 homes, thanks to baseball-size hailstones. So really this isn’t too much to worry about… Or is it?
Three unseasonably powerful storms dropping massive hailstones in the span of a week. To me, this is starting to feel like déjà vu.
What are your feelings? Signs of the end times or are we just seeing the effects of nature at its finest and more terrifying? Join the conversation below and on Facebook, and on Twitter using the hashtag #DMTalk.