Hong Kong saw its first taste of hail in around five years Wednesday, as surprised residents in Tseung Kwan O reported solid ice raining down on them and and smacking against apartment windows.
Videos posted in a Facebook group for Tseung Kwan O residents showed strong winds ruffling the leaves of trees and a combination of rain and hail fell from the sky.
“I was just driving and it felt like black rainstorm and a typhoon no. 3 signal,” one Facebook user wrote.
Others who were at home when it hailed said they thought ice was being hurled at their windows.
According to The Standard, the hailstones measured around 1 cm in diameter.
Hong Kong Observatory said hail was reported at Tseung Kwan O at around 1 pm. Rainfall was especially heavy in the area, the observatory added, warning that residents could see serious flooding.
The thunderstorm warning was issued just before noon.
A soccer player who was training at the Jockey Club HKFA Football Training Center in Tseung Kwan O said he and his team, who were ready to leave by 12 pm, were stuck inside for up to 45 minutes before the rain lightened up.
Hail is rare in Hong Kong, and between Jan. 2000 and Aug. 2020 has only been recorded on eleven days.
The last time Hong Kong saw hail was in 2016 in Tai Po, when a storm brought 100 km/h winds and the temperature suddenly plunged 10 degrees Celsius from 33 degrees to 23 degrees.