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A screen grab from a Facebook post of an unidentified man collecting blocks of ice during a hail shower yesterday.

Kalain Hosein

While southern Trinidad and all of Tobago suffered under the sweltering heat, parts of northern and central Trinidad remained under a deluge of rain, frequent lightning, and in the case of north-central Trinidad, hail.

Around 1.30 pm,, small chunks of ice fell from the sky across Trincity, Arouca, El Dorado, Tacarigua, and environs. Videos began circulating on social media showing people picking up pea-sized grains of ice in their lawns and driveways as torrential rain fell.

For those living in the areas affected, this hail would have sounded like large raindrops hitting the roof, as it is too tiny for damage and was too hot for any accumulation.

Today’s severe thunderstorms were triggered by high temperatures or what forecasters call intense daytime heating, as well as light low-level winds, produced torrential rainfall, gusty winds, and street/flash flooding across parts of central Trinidad and the East-West corridor.

Hail is a relatively uncommon occurrence in Trinidad and Tobago and is poorly documented. However, with the proliferation of smartphones and cameras across the country, hail and other unusual weather events have been more frequently reported.

Recent reports of hail in Trinidad and Tobago go back to the 1980s in the Diego Martin Valley. Then, a hailstorm in San Fernando and Penal on August 12, 1996, and another in Valsayn in 1994.

Then, in 2009, hail was reported in Cunupia, associated with the severe thunderstorm that produced the Caroni Plains tornado on August 29.

In 2020, hail was reported twice.

The first occurred on September 8th, 2020, accompanying gusty winds across the country, a funnel cloud east of Piarco, and hail in Carlsen Field.

The second occurrence was at the Piarco International Airport while a tornado struck D’Abadie on October 18, 2020.

A similar atmospheric setup will remain in place for light winds, hot temperatures, and strong afternoon thunderstorms through the remainder of this week.

These thunderstorms may produce localized gusty winds, street/flash flooding, and more severe features such as hail, funnel clouds, and even the possibility of waterspouts or tornadoes.