One awesome side effect of dramatic weather, especially if you're indoors and not subjected to things like grape-sized hail, is the dramatic photography it yields. Instagram user d0057 (that's former Giants linebacker Dhani Jones, on Twitter) took the above shot from an airplane window as his flight took off from LaGuardia, and the picture been bouncing around Twitter with a ferocity that almost matches the ice that began falling from the sky Wednesday afternoon. Per its time stamp the photo was taken a couple hours before the hail started, which means all that was just hanging over us, waiting...
The thunderstorm that hit New York on Wednesday afternoon started suddenly, at about 4 p.m., and by 4:20 or so there was marble- to golf-ball-sized hail falling from the sky, depending on who you asked. So how does ice wind up falling from the sky in 90-degree weather? Well, as USA Today explains, "Hail forms when strong currents of rising air, known as updrafts, carry water droplets high enough in a thunderstorm for the water droplets to freeze." When the updrafts can no longer hold up the hailstones, they fall.
The photos of the ice-covered ground are pretty insane, considering the 90-degree heat.
Amberfeld shared this on Instagram:
I_Am_Hotrod shared this one:
And Danielle Banks shared this office-window shot, which is how most of us took in the storm: