A few days ago I was sitting in my living room, cuddling my dog and just generally goofing off, when I experienced what I briefly thought might be the end of the world. One minute, it was your typical Pacific Northwest midwinter’s day: kind of grey, kind of drizzly, kind of cold, but not extreme in any of those categories. Just your basic meh.
And then. And then I heard a plink. And then another. And another. And then the sky opened up to a downpour of epic proportions. I couldn’t even see the back fence in the yard. But as the squall became louder and things began bouncing off the windows and every flat surface, I realized that this wasn’t rain. It was hail. Hail the size of garbanzo beans. And it kept coming.
I just stood there, well back from the window, clutching my freaked out dog, with my mouth hanging open. I’d never seen anything like this in my life. Oh, I’ve seen hail before. Sometimes the size of golf balls. But it never came down this densely or for this length of time. This storm lasted 10 minutes, at least. Long enough for me to wonder if it would ever end.
I wish I had had the presence of mind to take a video of it. Here’s one from Youtube, of the same storm, but it must have thinned out considerably before it reached this person’s street, because this doesn’t do it justice.
I did take the two pictures below of the aftermath. Before the storm the yard was green. It took three days for this hail to melt away completely. My dogs found it rather fascinating, once it was on the ground.
Afterward, I drove the neighborhood to see what things looked like when blanketed in icy balls. Oddly, it only covered a few blocks in radius. Beyond that, nothing. It was our own tiny little frozen pelleted apocalypse.
I’m glad it didn’t catch me outside. I’m sure it would have hurt. Fortunately I didn’t note any property damage.
It always rattles me when nature does something I don’t expect. Thanks to climate change, I’m sure I’ll have these experiences with greater frequency. Here’s hoping they do us no harm.