Freak hailstorm ices over parts of Sao Paulo

A rare hailstorm pelted the streets of Sao Paulo Sunday, leaving behind a thick white coating resembling snow in some areas.

“Residents in Sao Paulo wondered at the ice balls that decorated their yards and gardens even up to early Monday,” reports the Associated Press. “Some told local news media that their children had never seen hail or played with ice before Sunday’s storm.”

The water and ice broke a dry spell in Sao Paulo, Brazil’s largest city.  In April, its main reservoir shrank to its lowest level on record according to Christopher Burt at Weather Underground.

Although the thick layer of ice dropped on Sao Paulo Sunday was unusual, the city somewhat regularly experiences hail in thunderstorms.

Here are a couple videos from past hailstorms: January 2009 | September 2010

While hail happens in Sao Paulo from time to time, snow is almost unheard of.  Snow hasn’t been observed in the city in decades (since at least the 1970s or 1918, depending on the source).

Here’s some pretty amazing multimedia views of the scene left behind, from social media:

Slideshow from Globo.com

Jason is currently the Washington Post’s weather editor. A native Washingtonian, Jason has been a weather enthusiast since age 10.
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