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What the Hail?

An Ice Storm of Hail Hits Bali During a Mid-December Spate of Extreme Weather.

(12/18/2010) Any remaining doubts that global climate change is well and truly upon us, should be swept away by news that sections of Bali's capital city of Denpasar were hit by a hail storm on Thursday afternoon, December 16, 2010.

Heavy rains affected Denpasar and surrounding area beginning at around 3:30 pm, including confirmed reports of exceedingly rare ice storms that befell the Jalan Gunung Agung and Jalan Merpati areas of the city. According the Kompas.com and Radar Bali, the sound of ice pellets bouncing off buildings and parked vehicles created something of a panic, causing people to seek cover in their homes and places of business. One observer told the press that the ice crystals measure 1 x 1 centimeter, with other comparing the size of the ice crystals to a human thumb.

Some residents reported cracked car windshields and limited damage to residential roofs as the result of the hailstorm, which lasted for around 10-20 minutes. Trees also tumbled on some streets, bringing down power lines and causing interruption in electrical service.

At approximately the same time, a lightning strike in the nearby village of Pangsan in Badung's sub-district of Petang is blamed for the death of a 30-year-old man, I Nyoman Sudian. The man was farming in a field when he was struck by a lightning bolt and is said to have died instantly.

Representatives of the Bali Meteorology Department have said that the incidents of rain, hail and lightning are all in keeping with the transitional season now underway in Bali and the continuing effects of El Nina.

Weather experts are expecting storms and rain to remain part of the Bali weather picture until April 2011, with the peak season for storms predicted in January and February.