The city rained ice on Tuesday during an intense spell of showers that lasted 15 minutes

On Tuesday afternoon, Hyderabadis were left rubbing their eyes in disbelief as hard ice of the size of marbles and golf balls fell from the skies for nearly 15 minutes.

The once in a blue moon phenomenon, called a hailstorm, was widespread and within a span of three hours – between 2.30 p.m. and 5.30 p.m. – the city had received close to 35 mm (3.5 cm) of rainfall.

The hailstorm was extensive, with public from a host of locations confirming having experienced the phenomenon. The intense spell inundated low-lying areas in the city and brought traffic at several stretches to a crawl. Several sections on the Raj Bhavan and Somajiguda-Punjagutta roads were filled with knee-deep water, obstructing traffic for a long time.

The Hyderabad Meteorological Department said lightening, gusty winds, sudden spells of showers and hail were likely to continue in Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy districts for the next 48 hours.

“The weather is unusual because every year thunderstorms occur from April. But, this year, thundershowers are taking place a month in advance,” said Assistant Meteorologist M. Narasimha Rao.

Chatter on the social media

The social media was abuzz with users posting pictures and their accounts of having encountered the rare occurrence.

“I was travelling in my car in Madhapur when I suddenly felt as if someone had begun throwing huge stones on the roof. I had to search for shelter to protect my car from getting damaged,” posted Rahul V. on one of the platforms.

Traffic logjam across city

By Tuesday evening, however, the euphoria over hailstorms and the pleasant climate was quickly eclipsed by nightmares of traffic snarls that took occurred at major thoroughfares. Traffic crawled due to gridlocks at Begumpet, Ameerpet, Rasoolpura, Dilsukhnagar, Malakpet, Mettuguda-Tarnaka and a few areas of Kukatpally.

The GHMC’s emergency call centre received several complaints of water-logging at Lakdikapul, Masab Tank, Tolichowki, Somajiguda, Raj Bhavan road, Vijaya Nagar colony, Mehdipatnam, Basheerbagh, Red Hills and Himayathnagar.

Previous occurrence

On January 29 last year, close to seven villages in and around Chevella witnessed hailstorm, wherein within an hour one-and-half-feet-deep ice was deposited in agricultural fields of seven villages. The hailstorm was a local phenomenon and was active over a distance of five to six kilometres.

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