It got dark, very quickly, then the hail came around 2:45pm.  Loud, too loud to concentrate, bouncing off the ground and rattling the windows.  Sounded like an angry mob stoning a heretic.  Thunder in sharp whip cracks instead of slow rumbles.  Marble sized hail, in late May, collecting in piles on the ground and by the doors.  Sirens and fire trucks and two power outages.  Everyone on their cell phone, calling.  Steam rising off the piles of hail and mixing with rain.  A river of brown water running through what used to be the garden/patio area at work, re-landscaping it with islands and furrows.  Leaves torn off trees, littering the car park.  Wondering if the house, the car, the trees, are damaged.  Then silence.  No hail, sky lightens, rain almost stops.  Tornado on the way?  Doesn't look like it.  Sky's not green, just a faded grey, wrung out.  It's over.  Now for the clean up.

Aftermath: Wednesday 26th May

It took well over an hour to get home, normally a 25 minute journey with the usual heavy traffic at one point.  Driving a manual transmission car stop-start for that long is tiring on the ankles.  At home it looked as if it had snowed leaves.  There was a small pile of hail outside the back door.  I think the tree protected the roof from hail, and only one minor branch fell off the trees.  It landed on the yard.  I've never seen that much leaf fall in spring.  Cars are plastered with leaves.

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