Thursday, March 24, 2011

New York City experiences hail, thunderstorms, lightning in harsh March spring weather

Hail and sleet come down in a torrent of unwelcome spring weather in Brooklyn Wednesday night.

Hail and sleet come down in a torrent of unwelcome spring weather in Brooklyn Wednesday night.

Following a few days of sunshine last week, New York City's weather took a turn for the worse Wednesday with pellets of hail raining down in parts of all five boroughs.

Twitter immediately lit up with weather-beaten New Yorkers tweeting photos of and comments about the gloomy skies.

"Yooooo Spring what happened to u!? Maybe someone didn't send Hail the memo. Smh," tweeted Victoria's Secret model Selita Ebanks.

"Thunder and freezing rain. Nice combo. #NYC," NY1 host Pat Kiernan tweeted.

"It doesn't look like much, but this snow/hail/sleet crap coming out of the sky -it's like walking on ball bearings," one tweeter commented, posting a photo of the frozen streets.

The National Weather Service predicted one to three inches of snowfall by the end of Wednesday night, and New York residents had their own unnerving experiences with the onslaught of springtime slush.

Sunnyside resident James Checrallah was leaving a Home Depot in Queens along Northern Boulevard around 6:30 p.m. when he heard what he thought was "really loud rain" on the metal awning.

"But then I realized that it was poking at my head, and it was clearly not," he said, adding that the second bout of hail, which came about an hour later, was much worse.

"There was thunder and lightning, and the lightning struck really close," Checrallah said. "The thunder even set off two or three car alarms."

Hail pelted windshields and made driving conditions dangerous Wednesday night. (Murray/News)

Weather conditions even caused the Federal Aviation Administration to announce flight delays at LaGuardia Airport, much to the chagrin of March travelers.

New York wasn't the only place hit by hail, however. Parts of up-state New York, New Jersey and Connecticut were under a winter weather advisory from the National Weather Service, and residents of Iowa and Nebraska suffered from damaging hail Tuesday afternoon.

"There's a big dent," Iowa resident Paulette Jones told a local news station Tuesday, referring to damage to her home. "It was so loud."

Wednesday's ugly weather comes following the a harsh winter for the Northeast and a phenomenon known as "thundersnow."

"so it started with rain, then hail, then sleet, and now big fat snowflakes. Is there any other form of precipitation left? #springinnyc," one tweeter bemoaned.


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