Summer camp is always noisy, crazy, and full of weird things falling on you. But kids and counselors at a camp outside of Edmonton got one-upped by the sky on Sunday night, after a storm pelted the grounds with hail several inches across.
The hail started falling right as dinner was about to start. “I think it looked like white tomatoes,” camper Payton Hicks, who watched the storm from the mess hall, told the CBC.
Others at Camp Evansburg compared the chunks of ice to billiard balls, baseballs, or eggs, and the sound they made to “loud thunder,” “people throwing rocks,” and “disrespectful kids.” No injuries have been reported, but cars at the camp and in the nearby town suffered dents and windshield cracks.
As for the young campers, they enjoyed it, turning the hailstones into makeshift sports equipment. “We even added some of the balls to the [pool] water to make it Antarctica,” Hicks told the CBC. “It was awesome.”
While impressive, this hail was not record-setting. According to NOAA’s Severe Storms Laboratory, hailstones have been discovered that were at least 8 inches across, and the hail size estimation chart on their website includes categories from “pea” up through “softball.”
How do chunks of ice that size stay in the sky? As LiveScience explains, a hailstone is formed when water in the clouds comes into contact with an ice particle or a piece of dust and freezes around it. The stronger the wind, the longer the hailstone can stay aloft—and the longer it stays aloft, the bigger it gets.
In other words, the clouds above Camp Evansburg were plotting this prank for ages.
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