On Sunday (February 27) a Western disturbance was passing over Pakistan towards India. The city of Lahore which is called the cultural capital of Pakistan was lashed by a rare hailstorm that left Lahorites shocked, amazed, speechless and some frightened. People enjoyed the weather by actually feeling what is like being lived in a hilly area but some people thought the weird phenomenon as a warning from God that is why they started praying and went to local mosques to pray. It was indeed a shocking phenomenon for Lahorites who had witness such events rarely but this hailstorm was intense and longlived but it was also a isolated event as other parts of Lahore remained dry/partly cloudy.
Factors behind Lahore phenomenon
The hailstorm was due to the development of a small supercell thunderstorm, west of city. The temperatures played a important role as ground temperatures were high and air temperatures were quite low that allowed a small isolated supercell thunderstorm to develop over west of the city and move over northeastern parts of the city where it dissipated. The hailstorm carpeted the city with white colour, this hailstorm was the strongest in 35 years and lasted for 30 minutes. Though the quantity of hail could not be recorded.
Difference between Hail and Snow?
Most people think that hail and snow are same but they are totally wrong. Many Pakistanis believe that snowfall occured in Lahore but infact it was a hailstorm. If we see the above picture it seems as if snowfall occured but it is hail. What is a hailstorm? A hail is like a block of solid ice that are liquid in the air but becomes solid due to low temperatures. Snow on the other hand is watery flakes they occur only when the air near the ground is very cold to below freezing level.
Does it hail in Lahore?
Yes it does hail in Lahore, these storms occur almost all over the Punjab province of Pakistan but are shortlived unlike the “Lahore Phenomenon”. The plains of Punjab witness 5 to 10 or more hailstorms every month during the winter season and monsoon season.
Was it God’s wrath?
Many people were frightened on February 27 at 4:45pm in Lahore. Lahorites quickly started reciting verses from the Holy Quran and rushed to mosques to offer their prayers and begged for forgiveness from God to ignore their sins but keeping it in mind that the hailstorm was intense, long lasting and an isolated event since other parts of Lahore were dry so was it God’s wrath or not???