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Singapore: From Haze to Hail in Less Than a Week

From #sghaze to #sghail. After the record level haze pollution, Singapore was struck by rainstorms carrying hail this week.

The haze caused by forest fires in Indonesia is the worst air pollution in Singapore in years. Many people welcomed the rains which poured down on Singapore early this week because it helped in easing the haze situation but they were surprised by the hail which hit the country Tuesday afternoon.

SimonTay78.com felt it was like a hurricane:

I heard strong wailing of wind coming from my windows which was strange as it haven’t been raining for the whole month of June until today.

Then suddenly the rain starts pouring down like a hurricane together with wind speed I had never seen before.

I went downstairs and saw many small & large tree branches fallen to the ground and one uncle came to me and said that I’m late filming the hail!

Andy Giger recorded this short video clip of the hail:

Suhailah reported that the hail toppled several trees:

…if you are living in Singapore, you probably know the totally weird weather condition the country's in now. From the hazardous haze a few days ago to the unexpected hail (or just raining ice cubes, like literally actual ice cubes) earlier this afternoon… But the hail is kinda horrible. Trees started toppling just now and hurting lots of people. And they also caused those metal lamp post to fall or bend. It's kinda scary. I mean, I never really see this kind of things like this before.

The hail was recorded mainly in the western part of Singapore:

Today, Singapore welcomed a much sought-after rain that provided some respite for Singaporeans who had been suffocating for the last couple of days ever since the haze from Indonesia invaded our skies.

There were reports of hailstones falling in several areas of western Singapore like Chua Chu Kang, Bukit Batok and Jurong East.

Many people thought the hail was caused by cloud seeding or acid rain. The National Environment Agency issued a clarification:

There has been some speculation that the hail (or “raining ice”) observed over the western part of Singapore between 1pm and 4.30pm on 25 Jun 2013 could be caused by acid rain or cloud seeding in Indonesia. This is false.

In fact, hailstones are quite rare in the tropics because they usually melt as they fall from the clouds, before reaching the ground. On average, public sightings of hailstones in Singapore occur every one to two years

For Bertha Henson, the hail could be a sign for something else:

As for hail, it could be a sign that the apocalypse is upon us or a heaven-sent signal that there is still water up there…

Whether it’s the haze or hail, the recent disasters in Singapore tested the resiliency of the people:

This haze comes as a great challenge to our resilience as a people. We have made it thus far over 48 years. We soon approach our fiftieth year of independence and we should rightfully be proud. Before we get there, we should take some time, look at ourselves and ask the questions: Who are we? What defines us?

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