A deluge of hail engulfed the outskirts the city of Guadalajara, in western Mexico, on Sunday, half-burying vehicles in ice and damaging nearly 200 homes.
The freak hail storm in one of Mexico’s largest cities came as temperatures hovered around 31 Celsius (88 Fahrenheit) in recent days.
“I’ve never seen such scenes in Guadalajara,” said the governor of Jalisco state, Enrique Alfaro. “Then we asked ourselves if climate change is real. These are never-before-seen natural phenomena,” he said. “It’s incredible.”
At least six neighborhoods were covered in ice up to 2 meters (6 feet) deep.
Children were seen playing in the ice and throwing snowballs at each other in the middle of summer, while people stood around near piles of ice wearing t-shirts.
Civil Protection personnel and soldiers brought out machinery to clear the roads.
Nobody was injured, but two people showed early signs of hypothermia.
The hail probably melted on contact due to the high temperatures forming a layer of water upon which more hail could land and float.
This combination of water and hail likely moved down slope, with obstacles such as buildings blocking the flow and allowing more ice to accumulate on top.
The actual hailstones were relatively small, less than 1cm in diameter, and nothing like the golf-ball sized hail seen at times in severe storms in the US.