Monday, 9 October 2017

Hail Wonderland

Down in South Africa tucked safely in on the Highveld we tend to miss all the major natural weather disasters that we have become displacent. A typical summer thunderstorm here never reaches category 3 but after a warm winter, this afternoon a mother of storms brew up from a cut off low.

It was mid afternoon sitting at my desk, when suddenly it got dark. I was wondering who turned off the lights, when I heard the first of the hail hitting the roof. A few small ones at first, then the heavens opened up with hailstones larger than golf balls. Photos came through from a few streets up from me of hail bigger than a tennis ball which was photographed next to the hail as size comparison. Checking on all our pets, only Paddy was missing. He was out there in the veldt in this.

After the storm, it was eerie quiet, I went out to access for damage but could not find any. It was while I was outside that I heard the roar. It sounded like a freight train or Victoria Falls. No it couldn’t be. I grabbed my phone and went down to the edge of the kloof, and saw the stream below had turned into a raging torrent through the narrow gorge. Anyone caught down there, surely would have gotten swept away.

All around me the rocky Protea forest looked like a winter wonderland except it was hail not snow. Although it looked beautiful, I wondered how much damage this hail storm has caused. Another storm was building up, so headed back to the safety of my home and soon after I arriving, in traipsed a nearly drowned kitty cat, Paddy, looking oh so sorry for itself.

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