Freak hailstorm in tropical Kenya  

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Freak hailstorm in tropical Kenya

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3 Sep 08 - A huge hailstorm turned parts of central Kenya white, thrilling residents most of whom had never experienced such conditions, officials said on Wednesday.

Hailstorms are usual in some parts of Kenya, which straddles the equator, but the ferocity of the storm in Busara, 255 km (158 miles) northwest of the capital was unprecedented.

Excited villagers pelted each other with snowballs while some ate pieces of the icy sheet that formed over an entire hillside.

"I have not seen such a thing ever since I was born," said one resident of Nyahururu.

"The hailstones falling on the ground joined together to form expansive sheets of ice or snow flakes occupying a large area, 30 acres," a statement by Kenya's Meteorological Department said.

More than 12 hours after the storm, the forested hillside was still white despite the hot tropical sun.

The only snow to be seen in normally sunny Kenya is on top of the country's highest mountain, 5,199-metre (17,057 ft) Mount Kenya.

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/rtrs/20080903/tod-uk-kenya-weather-d673334.html
Or see http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7596134.stm
Thanks to Andrew Servo in Scotland and Marc Morano for these links



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