SOCIAL media in Vanuatu was agog today after photos of large amounts of hailstones which had fallen late Monday were posted on Facebook.
The photos were taken on Emae, in the Shepherd Islands, around 5pm on Monday, after a massive hailstorm dumped a widespread ice shower.
Locy Kals, who snapped the amazing pictures, reported there was a storm with hail only in the village of Tongamea, in the northern part of the island.
Local people were amazed, as they had never before seen hail. Some suggested it was related to climate change, although it was suggested this would have been the opposite of what most people know of climate change effects.
Another post explained that the phenomenon is caused by very high velocity winds, very high up where it’s cold, catching rain as it falls and repeating until the hail is too heavy and falls as large hail.
Hailstorms such as this are not uncommon in parts of northern Australia, such as south east Queensland, but the event looks set to remain a talking point in Vanuatu for some time to come.