The recent arrival of spring in Washington provided no protection on Friday from nature’s capriciousness, as rain and snow and hail and wind all lashed the area at times, provoking wonder and surprise.
A George Washington University baseball game was suspended amid a hailstorm; a photograph showed the field covered in white.
It was “hailing like snow” in Arlington, Va., said Elizabeth Trentacost.
Technically speaking, the National Weather Service said a lot of what fell was more in the graupel category than hail. Graupel has been described as snow pellets, encased in ice.
Residents reported thunder and lightning, and told of the startling swiftness of the seeming changeover from one season to another and back. Winds rose and subsided; Reagan National Airport measured a 59 mph gust. Trees toppled. Power lines snapped.
Many seemed almost stunned by the spectacular onset of the afternoon storm front. They noted its hit-or-miss, moment-to-moment uncertainty, with rain one minute, sunshine the next, and, in places, rain on one side of a road but not the other.