Hailstones at the Equator.
Kuala Lumpur is not far from the Equator. It is bathed in perpetual sun and is never less than sweltering. It is the last place one would expect to see ice. Yet, yesterday, that is exactly what I saw: hailstones falling from the sky.
I heard a rattle on the rooftop, outside my bedroom window late yesterday afternoon. I had just come upstairs and the last thing I expected to hear was the sound of solid objects hitting a solid roof. I looked outside and could not believe what I saw: there were hailstones melting on the roof and new ones bouncing off it, in a rapid machine gun rattle. It was the most unexpected weather phenomenon one could possibly have, in Malaysia, of all places.
I asked Fintan to go get a camera, and tried to photograph it, but the results were disappointing and did not capture what my eyes saw: the gloom required a flash and the flash reflected off the window in between obscuring vision.
Well, I spent the next half an hour watching ice fall from the skies, though the temperature outside was, no doubt, in the thirties (degrees centigrade). How bizarre.
The ice melted very quickly and became a stream gushing off the roof - but it lasted long enough to see what it was. Most of the hailstones were only about a centimetre or less in diameter, but a few were much bigger - perhaps two or more centimetres. These ones lasted quite a long time.
I know I have written of the weather recently and I didn't really want to do so again, so soon - but I felt that this strange day had to be marked by a post - because I have never seen weather so odd in all my time near the Equator (about a decade). So, the day had to be marked with a post: the day that hail fell beneath the Equatorial Sun.
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