Hailstones the size of tennis balls hit south-central France (PHOTO, VIDEO)
A huge thunderstorm has bombarded the French region of Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes with hailstones the size of tennis balls, and included a record number of lightning bolts, providing for a deluge of impressive content on social media.
The meteorological calamity led to the classification by Meteo France of most of the country as being at the second-to-worst ‘level orange’ weather threat on Saturday. But Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes, located on the border with Switzerland and Italy, was hit the hardest.
One video captured a swimming pool that looked as though it was boiling, due to the massive hailstones falling into the water.
There have been, so far, no reports of deaths of injuries caused by the hailstorms.
Encore de violentes chutes de #grele ce dimanche comme ici dans le #Gard Les #orages sont moins nombreux que la veille mais restent localement puissants (carte des échos maxis sur 3h).Photo : Bianca Frontier Selzer via météo Languedoc pic.twitter.com/znKVWf8NPQ— meteo60 (@meteo60) July 7, 2019
The thunderstorm also set a record for the most lightning bolts striking this year, with 73,700 of them recorded, mainly over Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes.
#SaintEtienne encore de la grêle sur la ville ! En seulement deux semaines, trois orages de grêle ont frappés la ville et la métropole stéphanoise. Le climat devient fou ! 😟 pic.twitter.com/K1Y8wdQWTX— John Mothe (@JonathanMothe) July 6, 2019
The French south had already witnessed a massive hailstorm in mid-June, in which 10 people were injured and serious damaged was meted out to property and to local vineyards.
Editor’s note: One of the tweets included in the story featured a video that was later shown to have come from Sydney, Australia and not France. That tweet has been removed.
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