(DNO) – The media in Martinique is reporting the “very rare” phenomenon of hailstones falling in that neighboring French Island.
According to news outlet France-Antilles, the event took place on Monday afternoon mainly in the areas of François and Lamentin, much to the surprise of residents.
Météo-France has confirmed the event, describing it as “exceptional,” according to France-Antilles.
It said the phenomenon is linked to very dense vertical movement of water drops that go up and down. Combined with cold air from the American continent, these drops arrive on the ground in the form of hail.
It also said heavy rains, which caused widespread flooding in Martinique on Monday, have contributed to the bizarre phenomenon.
In March 2016 the same phenomenon took place in Saint-Claude in Guadeloupe.
France-Antilles said although this is very rare, it is not impossible for it to occur in the Caribbean.
Hailstones are small lumps of ice that form in clouds and fall to the ground when their size reaches 5 mm in diameter or larger. They begin as water droplets that freeze in the clouds.