A Summer Storm In Mexico Dropped 5 Feet Of Ice & The Photos Are Unbelievable

by Lani Seelinger

Snow angels in a city in southwestern Mexico in July might seem like something out of a children's fantasy book, but this was an actual possibility that residents of one such city woke up to on Monday morning. Photos of a hail storm in Guadalajara, Mexico drew fascination and disbelief from both residents and international observers, streets were buried in up to 5 feet of ice.

"I've never seen such scenes in Guadalajara," said Enrique Alfaro, the governor of the state where the city is located, according to the AFP. "Then we ask ourselves if climate change is real. These are never-before-seen natural phenomenons. It's incredible."

The storm hit overnight, with all of the hail falling between about 1:50 a.m. and 2:10 a.m. local time, according to the BBC. While authorities have not reported any injuries or deaths from the freak storm, it did sweep away and damage numerous vehicles and homes. Once the hail began melting, a flood began because of all of the excess water, as The Washington Post wrote. Civil Protection forces were soon out in the streets trying to clear out the streets and pump away flood water, according to The Post, but the sheer amount of ice in the street meant it was still there for some of Guadalajara's 5 million residents to come out and see it in their neighborhoods.

A Surreal Scene

In the days before the storm, highs were around 88 degrees, according to the AFP.

Mexico, Or Siberia?

Because of the weather conditions in the area, it's not unusual for Guadalajara to get hail in the summer, according to the BBC. Events like this, however, that end with feet of hail blanketing the streets of a large swath of the city, are unheard of.

A Bird's Eye View

From this angle, you get a good idea of how much damage that the city could be dealing with over the next several days. The storms that bring hail also tend to be highly localized, according to the BBC, and even just in this photo you can see that it isn't an even cover the way that snow would be.

Residents Inspecting Their Streets

If you have a general idea of how tall a semi-trailer truck is, then these pictures show you exactly how much hail built up in the 20 minutes that it fell.

While this is certainly the most striking bizarre weather event to have happened this summer, it's far from the only extreme one. Most of Europe is currently at the tail end of a severe heat wave, during which regions of the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Poland, and Spain all recorded all-time high temperatures, according to Vox. It hit almost 115 degrees in one French village, The New York Times reported, an unheard of and even dangerous temperature in an area where air conditioning is very uncommon.

While no single weather event can be entirely attributed to human-induced climate change, they do fit into the changing trends that scientists have observed, according to The New York Times. While 5 feet of ice showing up during the Mexican summer might seem like evidence that detracts from the idea that the globe is warming, it's actually part of the increased level of severe weather that the 2014 National Climate Assessment clearly found.

Guadalajara's residents may never have seen hail like this before, but it's not out of the question that they could see it again.