MANGALDAN, Pangasinan- An unusual phenomenon was captured on video last Tuesday, June 16, 2015.
In the video, it was raining heavily but the shower of the small balls of ice made it unusual especially in a tropical country.
This phenomenon is called hail. Hail is a form of solid precipitation that consists of balls or irregular lumps of ice, each of which is called hailstone. According to NASA, hail forms when thunderstorm updrafts are strong enough to carry water droplets well above the freezing level. This freezing process forms a hailstone, which can grow as additional water freezes onto it. Eventually, the hailstone becomes too heavy for the updrafts to support it and it falls to the ground.
This is not the first time that this happened in the Philippines.
Last April 22, 2015, Metro Manila experienced the same. It was reported by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) that some areas in Quezon City, Rizal and Bulacan was also affected.
The downpour caused tire-deep floods along the westbound lane of Commonwealth-Doña Carmen in Quezon, City.
Although there were reports of deaths caused by hail in other countries, what happened in Pangasinan and Manila is harmless as long as the residents stayed indoors.
Walter Marc C. Cantero
Leyte Normal University