Videos Show Freak Hail Storm in Rome After Unusual Air Movements

The storm followed some unseasonably warm weather.

Rome was hit by a hail storm over the weekend, after an unusual wind pattern swept across Italy. Motorists shared videos of cars battling through flooding, as the city closed five metro stations. In some areas, like the east of the city, the hail was so heavy that it set like snow.

The weather came after around a month of warm, summer-like days, where temperatures in Rome reached nearly 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Accuweather shows a staggering drop from highs of 77 on Saturday, to 74 on the Sunday, down to 63 on Monday with lows reaching 49. The Washington Post notes that a high-altitude disturbance swept down from the north-east, with winds downing trees in Milan and causing delays in Bologna airport. The Local states that the wind’s arrival was marked by thunderstorms on Sunday evening. Hail forms in such thunderclouds during warm weather, where the air forms an updraft into the clouds and pushes water molecules into higher-altitude at freezing temperatures with rapid speed. The faster the updraft, the bigger the hail.

See more: Why a Softball-Sized Hail Season May Hint at Weather Trouble to Come

Rome’s storm caused chaos in the capital. The Civil Protection Department sent out an orange alert, one below the maximum, for the Calabria region, closing schools in the area. Areas in Molise, Puglia and Basilicata were also placed in orange alert, with a yellow alert in Abruzzo, Sicily, Lazio and Calabria. One agricultural association declared the storm a “calamity for Italian farming.”

It’s not the first bout of surprise hailstorms this year. In Colorado Springs, baseball-sized hailstones fell from the sky on August 6 wreaked havoc on the zoo and other areas. Back in June, American Airlines Flight 1897 was hit by surprisingly tough hail, caving in the nose and breaking the windshield. Even places like Dubai have experienced hail storms in recent years.

Fortunately, it seems the storm is starting to subside. Temperatures are set to reach highs of 74 and lows of 51 on Wednesday, with sunshine expected on Thursday.