Hailstorms batter a wintry Alicante

FLASH FLOODS: roads resembled lakes as hail took people by surprise.

A SUDDEN storm took the Alicante province by surprise as within minutes sunshine gave way to black clouds as rain and hail stones battered Alicante city. Surrounding municipalities and towns also feel the full force of the elements.

In the city, 26 litres of water per square metre fell in 15 minutes. According to Professor of Human Geography at the University of Alicante, Jorge Olcina, the hail storm occurred as the result of the formation of a strong convective cell which happens when warm air rises and cool air sinks.

If there is a sufficient amount of supercooled water, accumulation of ice can begin in the clouds forming hail.

He said the cold pool in the atmosphere results in cooler temperatures than of late and unstable weather in the province for several days.

South of Alicante, rainfall was more evenly spread, with 13 litres per square metres falling in Torrevieja and 12 litres in Elche. Areas were affected with flash flooding as roads were brought to a standstill. 

Murcia region was also affected with the weather more resembling winter. Snow was reported on high ground and storms took out electricity supplies in Lorca.

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