Friday, April 13, 2012

Freak hailstorm amazes, hard to believe

Have you ever heard of people getting killed by hail? I haven't so much, either. I've heard of lightning strikes, and deaths by tornadoes, hurricanes, and windstorms. But not hail. Until yesterday:

"Hailstones the size of golf balls have reportedly killed three people and injured 25 others in China. The giant pieces of ice pelted several rural areas in east China's Jiangxi province overnight and on Wednesday morning, resulting in the deaths of three people, the Xinhua news agency said. The hailstones were said to be as large as 3.5cm in diameter and weighed 18g on average. The storms forced the evacuation of more than 700 people, destroyed about 2,700 hectares of crops and damaged more than 900 houses, a spokesman with the Jiangxi provincial department of civil affairs said. Around 170,000 Jiangxi residents have been affected by the freak weather, the spokesman added."

So let's take a look at whether the impression I have of the rarity of death by hailstones is legitimate or not:

The folks at American Association for the Advancement of Science; ScienceNet Links were asked the same thing.

"Every year, tornadoes, hurricanes, and snowstorms claim lives and cause injuries. But strangely, hailstorms, which pelt the ground with hard balls of ice, never seem to hit human targets. A listener called Science Update to ask why. We've all heard stories about golf ball- and baseball-size hail denting cars and damaging houses. So that prompted Lee Greenfield of Washington, D.C., to ask why we never hear about people getting hurt by hail. We checked with Harold Brooks, a research meteorologist at The National Severe Storm Lab in Norman, Oklahoma. He says hail stones have to be a couple inches in diameter to cause injury. But hail of that size is pretty rare. And hail that could really seriously hurt you—getting to be baseball-size and larger—there aren't very many storms each year that do that. And even within a storm that does produce hail that size, not very many of the stones are that big. Most of the stones are much smaller than that. ... the listener's perception—that relatively few people get killed or injured by hail—is correct."

So just as I was mulling all that over, today I read of another hailstorm that was freak to say the least.

4 feet of hail? Massive hail storm hits Texas panhandle

"DALLAS--Maintenance crews worked Thursday to clear roads after a storm dumped several inches of hail on parts of the Texas Panhandle, trapping motorists in muddy drifts that were waist-to-shoulder high. The storm left so much hail in its wake that workers had to use snow plows to clear the piles from the road."It was crazy," National Weather Service Meteorologist Justyn Jackson said about the strange storm, which hit Wednesday afternoon. The hail was "real small" but there was a lot of it in a concentrated area, accumulating 2- to 4-feet deep, he said. The rural area where the storm struck was mainly ranch land, about 25 miles north of Amarillo and south of Dumas. Rainwater gushed across the parched land, washing dirt and then mud into the hail, pushing it all onto U.S. 287, Potter County Sheriff Brian Thomas said. "There were just piles of hail," said Maribel Martinez with the Amarillo/Potter/Randall Office of Emergency Management. "Some of the cars were just buried in hail and people were trapped in their cars."

This story from the UK Daily Mail is pretty interesting. Apparently even though the US Weather Service confirmed the freak weather event, people were dubious. So they posted photos on the US Weather Service Facebook page and people were still dubious. Skeptics derided the unlikelihood of the event as actually having occurred, it was so outside the scope of understanding and expectation as a weather happening. The Daily Mail focused on the skepticism part, and titled their article, "Hail No!"

"A small town in Texas was hit with a whopper of a storm Wednesday morning that left four feet of hail in its wake.Officials from the National Weather Service in Amarillo said that the storm was so severe and the hail so unrelenting that a major highway in Potter County was completely covered. But the photos of the one-off event are so unbelievable that an army of online sceptics have cast doubt on their authenticity, suggesting that instead they may simply show large rocks. When the weather service posted a photograph to Facebook of a firefighter next to the ice — which reached all the way up to his chest — commenters couldn't believe their eyes. That just doesn't even look real! Dang!' Bridget Hefner said on the site. Commenters turned their disbelief into hypotheses, offering alternative explanations to the unbelievable reality. 'Looks like a bunch of rocks/stones,' suggested Tiffany Baugh Berry. Another cynical poster wrote: 'It's a lite dusting of hail on some damn rocks.' 'I can assure you we do not have big rocks like that in West Texas,' Scotten retorted to MSNBC.com. 'That was four feet of ice,' she insisted, adding that the hail was compacted by rain and floodwater across a wide area. She blamed the ice's rock-like appearance on drought.'We're very dusty around here,' she said."

Here is a raw video from an eyewitness. At about 51 seconds in, one guy says to another, Have you ever seen anything like THIS?" The other guy answers, "No! No I have not."

Yesterday I noted that the Lord said in His Olivet Discourse of the signs in advance of His coming that "you will hear..."  and the word for hear means to listen, with an attendant figurative meaning of "to hear God's voice which prompts Him to birth faith within."

THESE ARE SIGNS FROM GOD, people! Wake UPPPPP.

As far as the localized nature of the Texas hailstorm goes, He has done that before:

"And also I have withholden the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest: and I caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another ...." (Amos 4:7)

In the past He has used hail to wake up the population to turn to Him, as well:
"I smote you with blasting and with mildew and with hail in all the labours of your hands; yet ye turned not to me, saith the Lord." (Haggai 2:17)

And He will use hail in the future. Now, if golf ball sized hail can kill, weighing mere ounces, what will a global deluge of 100 pound hail do to people? It will be massive death:

"And huge hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, came down from heaven upon men; and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, because its plague was extremely severe. (Revelation 16:21).

See, by then they know it is God who sends the hail, and for judgment, too, but they are so far gone that they simply blaspheme Him. Don't let that be you. Repent NOW.

3 comments:

  1. It is not uncommon in Colorado to get pea-sized hail 4, 5 or more inches deep in one storm. Denver has had to call out the snow plows after hail storms on several occasions. If the hail is carried along by rushing water and deposited like the hail was in this story, then yes, it could easily get to be 4 or 5 feet deep in those areas. The hail in this story WAS carried by rushing water and is deposited in such a way, including on the highway - the video shows this happening.

    That said, it was an amazing storm and frightening when we think of Biblical prophecy and what is coming. There is more terrible weather coming this weekend for the center of the US.

    This is also not the only time this has happened in this area of Texas (Texas tends to do everything bigger, it seems! :) ):

    "The pea-sized hailstones weren't big enough to set any size records, and Scotten said the service doesn't keep records for most hail in a given period.

    But Jose Garcia, chief forecaster at the weather service in Amarillo, told msnbc.com it probably wasn't the most hail the region has seen.

    "Five to 6 feet deep hail" fell in nearby Dalhart, Texas, in 1993 during a very similar storm, he said. It took almost a month for some roads to reopen as the compact ice melted slowly. "It was almost like huge snow drifts," he said."
    http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/04/12/11160993-4-feet-of-hail-in-texas-reports-photos-cause-quite-a-storm?lite

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  2. "Brooks adds that the worst hailstorms happen in the West, where population density is low, reducing the chances of getting hit even more. That doesn't mean the risk is zero, though.

    Brooks:
    We know that there've been a couple of...small plane crashes that have been associated with hail. And so we know that there've been at least a few fatalities in the United States. So it's not that people don't get hurt or killed by hail, it's just that in industrialized countries it's not very common."

    From the time I was a very young child I was warned not to go out in the hail - it could seriously hurt or kill a person. I've had huge welts on my arms and legs trying to run from the car to the house during a simple hailstorm with hail about nickle size. You learn quickly to stay inside the car and hope the hail doesn't break the windshield. If you ever see a car that has gone through a "normal" hailstorm, then you will understand that even one inch hail can cause an amazing amount of damage. It is quite common for car dealerships to have hail damaged car/truck sales after a storm, and body shops to have hail damage repair specials afterward. Lower population means fewer people get hurt or killed. If the West had the same population as China does, or even the Eastern half of the US, more fatalities would happen in the US, too.

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  3. Jesus is coming. No doubt about it.

    ReplyDelete

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