Freak hail storm hits the town

Water in Millpool Close and Otterpool Close after heavy thunder and hail showers
Water in Millpool Close and Otterpool Close after heavy thunder and hail showers

Hartlepool’s summer turned distinctly wintry yesterday as parts of the town were pelted by hailstones – with some big enough to fill the palm of the hand.

The sudden shower left many residents surprised as the heavens opened and hail rained down in August.

A Hartlepool hailstone. Picture: Dona Cannell.

A Hartlepool hailstone. Picture: Dona Cannell.

Many posted pictures and videos of the wacky weather on social media.

Several also shared their pictures with us at the Mail.

Dona Cannell sent us a picture of her holding a huge hailstone cluster in her hand.

Lorraine Sewell shared a picture of grey storm clouds gathering over the Owton Manor area.

Hartlepool weather. Picture: Lorraine Sewell.

Hartlepool weather. Picture: Lorraine Sewell.

But weather experts at the Met Office said hail in August is not that rare.

It was said to have been caused by warm land clashing with cold air that moved in.

A spokesman said: “It is not really unusual and has been much the same for large parts of the UK.

“There was a large cluster of thunderstorms and hail showers in the North East and south of the area.

“Following the bank holiday the land has been relatively warm.

“That met with a cold front and fresher air which brings with it the chance of hail storms.”

Hartlepool United posted a video of the hail from the ground in Clarence Road.

The hail was followed by thunder showers before the sun burst out in the afternoon.

On the central estate the rain created a temporary paddling pool in Millpool Close and Otterpool Close which was enjoyed by the local children.

Today’s forecast is for much dryer weather a few showers possible by late afternoon, but not of the same intensity as Thursday.

Going into the weekend, the Met Office says fine and dry on Saturday before showers move in on Sunday.