A large hail storm hit northern Israel on Monday morning causing damage to property.
The storm, which lasted only a few minutes, began just before 6:00 a.m. with unusually strong winds and large balls of hail.
In Haifa and the surrounding area trees fell from the strong winds, but there was no serious damage to property and no people were injured. Some residents reported downed electric wires and some damage to buildings. The hail caused damage to cars in the area.
In Kiryat Ata on Zevulun Street, a solar panel was blown from a roof of a house and damaged a car below.
Weather in the North on Monday morning following the storm was clear and stable, and temperatures were forecast to reach a high of 21. The rain that much of Israel saw last week was forecast to return on Monday afternoon and continue into Tuesday.
Pea-sized hail fell in and around Geneva this morning, looking more like several inches of lake-effect snow.
While residents were surprised to see it, a hail storm like this one is pretty common, said National Weather Service meteorologist Kat Hawley.
“It’s definitely nothing out of the ordinary,” Hawley said. “It’s just a small thunderstorm.”
Hawley said the fact that the hail fell in the morning rather than the afternoon could have caught people off guard. But that also meant that air temperatures were a little cooler, which allowed the hail to accumulate rather than melt away quickly.
“Most of the time that hail would melt,” she said. “It’s just kind of cool enough where the hail managed to stay as ice.”
(The largest hailstone ever recorded was 7 inches in diameter and weighed just under one pound. It fell in Nebraska on June 23, 2003.)
The atmosphere in the Finger Lakes this morning was just right for hail, Hawley said, with colder, dry air high in the atmosphere and drafts of air pushing the water up and down.
“We just happened to have all the right ingredients,” she said.