An orange level warning was [and still is] in force in our area [red is the highest] for possible severe thunderstorms accompanied by violent gusts of wind and monsoon-like downpours and/or hail. Before turning in we dutifully switched off all electrical stuff and our internet connection and moved all the outdoor furniture into the lee of the house.
Just before 5am lightning flickered frantically across the sky, the rumbling began and the promised 'rafales' [wind gusts] arrived. In the eerie false dawn light it looked pretty scary. Meanwhile, we were fretting about our two cats who were outside, pre-dawn is their favourite hunting time. Instead of a monsoon downpour, we got hail. Hailstones the like of which neither of us have ever seen, except in news reports.
|A 'small' collection of hailstones
|A seriously large one! Almost 6cm in diameter
|Two holes, neatly punched through
We consider ourselves very lucky indeed. Certainly compared to the devastation suffered by the Vourvray wine growers last year when they had a similar hailstorm. Fingers crossed we don't get anymore as the orange level warning is in force until early tomorrow morning and the thunderstorms, with and without hail, are predicted to re-appear this afternoon.