Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Wednesday Vignette: Hail!

Believe it or not, late Monday afternoon we got a touch of hail here on the Palos Verdes Peninsula.  Our temperatures plummeted on Monday (by our standards) and everywhere I went all day people complained about the cold and the strong wind, which made it feel colder still.  A chance of rain had been predicted but we really didn't expect any.  We certainly didn't expect hail.

That's not just rain beading up on the backyard patio table

It was tiny pellets of ice, already melting as it landed

Our weather station showed a temperature reading in the 40sF at our elevation, some 800 or so feet above sea level, and the tiny ice pellets didn't last long

It was fun while it lasted!  I've lived in Southern California all my life and I don't think I've seen even half a dozen hailstorms.


The hail flurry lasted less than 15 minutes and the precipitation wasn't enough for our weather station to register.  We remain woefully dry, although there's a 40% chance of rain currently showing in the forecast for Thursday.  The amount of rain expected from that system is trivial but maybe we'll get another weather surprise.

Visit Anna at Flutter & Hum for more Wednesday Vignettes.


All material © 2012-2018 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

31 comments:

  1. Kind of neat if a bit strange for your area. Hope it was not strong enough to damage foliage plants. We get hail that slashes Hostas to pieces.

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  2. I have an entry for Anaheim on the weather app on my phone, and couldn't help noticing some night-time temperatures in the 40s. I wondered how cold you got. Crazy weather. We often get hail here in the early spring.

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    1. Hail is a surprise when it hits here. Even when I was growing up in a colder inland valley, it was unusual.

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  3. Glad the hail beads were of a smaller variety. Sure, it wasn't rain, but maybe you can think of it as slow-release watering? Fingers crossed for more water on Thursday!

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    1. At this point, all precipitation is good and the pellets were small enough to do no harm. However, there wasn't enough of it to make much of an impact. Fingers are still crossed for gentle rain tomorrow night.

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  4. Kris, I didn't see any in my garden but did hear of local reports. It's been downright chilly!

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    1. I remembered that you had a hail event last year (or possibly the year before), Denise, but this is a first for us here. In fact, I can't personally remember any hailstorms since we became residents of the South Bay.

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  5. That is cold for you! Hope this crazy cold goes away soon so we can get on with sring.

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    1. It IS remarkably cold by our standards, Peter. I hope things warm up your way soon too.

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  6. Hail can do some major damage to homes and vehicles as well as plants, so I'm glad yours was so small. Sure sending good wishes for rain in your neck of the woods.

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    1. Because the hailstones were so small and the event so brief, there was no damage that I've been able to discern, although I did find one plant, a succulent, that appears to have been seriously damaged by the cold snap. If it's the case that it succumbed to the cold, it's a first for me.

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  7. I hope the hail hasn't damaged your plants, sometimes here the pellets are bigger than grapes and they can wreak havoc on gardens. The weather here is miserable: the heat is killing me, I always hated heat but as I get older I feel less able to endure it, I should move to the south where long snowy winters and short mild summers are the rule.

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    1. I'm not sure I've ever seen hailstones that big, MDN, but then any hail is relatively rare here. I know how appealing the idea of picking up and moving can be - I've been feeling that in response to the return of the drought here. It's hard to leave a beloved garden, though.

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  8. Well... the weather is so crazy these days! Too bad it wasn't rain but maybe that will arrive some day very soon?

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    1. At least one of the forecasters is still showing a 40% chance of rain tomorrow. It remains cold too but hopefully the precipitation will arrive as rain.

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  9. 40s! You must be freezing. ;) And today, our high was 63. Who'd have thought that MA would be warmer that SCA?

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    1. We were well under 60F here today and, with the wind, it feels colder still. It's hard to believe that I have Scandinavian roots (on both sides), isn't it?!

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  10. Someone I follow recently had major hail damage to her succulents...I would have said Hoov but I can’t imagine you two are far enough apart for that to be the case. Thinking, thinking...oh! It was Jennifer (http://wwwrockrose.blogspot.com). Luckily our hail usually falls early in the spring, before I bring the super fragile succulents outside and before the Bigleaf Magnolia leafs out.

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    1. As I recall, Denise (A Growing Obsession) had some hail last year (although it might have been the year before). She's located even closer to me than Hoover Boo but we didn't get hit that time, making these events seem very unpredictable here. And hail after weeks of summer-like temperatures is just plain weird.

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  11. We have hail storms quite regularly here, Italy is famous for them, sometimes the hail is as big as a golf ball. I remember being on a motorway and everyone stopping under the bridges so their cars wouldn't get damaged.

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    1. I can't even imagine golf ball sized hailstones, Christina! But it does seem that weather is becoming more and more unpredictable. I'd have never imagined a cold snap like the one we have now after our summer-like January.

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  12. Late winter and early spring often see wild swings here, but this year the weather seems almost psychotic: it's been in the 80s for three days, and buds are swelling that shouldn't unfurl for a month. Not that it's not a pleasure to get outside, but... yikes. The news of hail and 40s in southern California is further unsettling.

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    1. We had an unusually warm (almost hot) January so the current cold spell during what is usually our lead-in to spring was doubly unexpected. Despite the brief hail event, we remain miserably dry overall. Rain was forecast for tonight but I'm not prepared to lay odds on it yet.

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  13. Hail! In paradise. We've just been told that we're to get an arctic blast from northern Russia next week and just when the earth is bursting with new growth.

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    1. These drastic weather shifts are getting tiresome, aren't they?! I hope your arctic blast is both brief and milder than advertised, Ian.

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  14. Gosh, that is surprising! How often do you get hail? Of course, it happens here from time to time, but that is to be expected. I'm glad you don't have any damage. We had to have our roof replaced one time because of extensive damage from tennis ball-sized hail. Not fun.

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    1. Hail is unusual here, Beth. I really can't remember a prior hail event in the last 15+ years. We've never had the kind of damage you described.

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  15. It looks like typical California down there, hail is pretty common up here. We currently have several inches of snow. I hope the hellebores that were blooming will not mind. Your succulents in the pots look very flower-like, Kris.

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    1. Nice to see you pop up, Hannah! I hope the snow doesn't cause any damage to your garden.

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  16. Circle pot on your table with the view beyond is beautiful! No hail here--it dings up the Agave attenuatas, though they grow out of it.

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    1. As hail events go, this one was very mild, if also unexpected. The ice pellets were small and clearly in the process of melting in transit. Sadly, it's the only precipitation we got this week - the rain forecast for last night was a no-show (again).

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