On August 7, a hailstorm hit our neighborhood.

sound_icon1.pngHere is a recording I made of the hailstorm. It needs a bit of narrative. The hissing sound you hear at the beginning is neither static nor rain, but the sound of wind, powering its way through the trees around our house. There are a few rounds of thunder, followed soon by the unmistakable pinging of the first hailstones on the ground. This was recorded from the cover of our front porch, and so you will hear the sound of hailstones hitting the concrete sidewalk, as well as the windows and metal rain gutter on the side of the house. A few more thunderclaps and the storm eventually fades out, leaving only the wind.

A few weeks into our stay, it has become clear that when the weather report indicates a “chance of thunderstorm,” the actual probability of a thunderstorm in this area hovers around 100%, and the storm usually includes a few close strikes — at any rate, they sound close. I would have thought that, out here, there would be little chance of an earthquake. This is true, but it ignores the possibility of the ground shaking from a nearby lightning strike and the bowling ball thunder that follows.

I mentioned the hailstorm while at the local wine shop and was told that (unlike the thunderstorms) hail is not very common around here. Worried about the local farms. After all the trouble they went through, hiring falconers to chase off the starlings from their blueberries, the blueberries are all out in the open, where one bad hailstorm could destroy in ten minutes what ten weeks of hungry birds could not.

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