Injured drivers and motorways closed due to strong hailstorm in Italy (+ video)

Today, a severe hail storm broke out over the province of Parma, Italy, causing extensive damage, especially to vehicles. Photo: @AnthonyPaez595/Twitter

Hail the size of tennis balls forced a motorway in northern Italy to close on Tuesday, damaging dozens of cars., in an extreme sample of a climatic phenomenon that has intensified its severity, according to the Chamber of Agriculture in recent years.

The National Farmers Union (Coldiretti, for its acronym in Italian) said that “In Italy we are facing the consequences of climate change, with a tendency to tropical and the proliferation of extreme events”, These include sudden and violent storms, heavy rain and rapid changes from clear skies to storms, he added.

Coldiretti estimates that climate change events such as floods and landslides have caused 14 billion euros ($16.5 billion) in losses to agricultural production, buildings and infrastructure.

Videos of a severe hailstorm near the northern city of Modena on Monday showed cars with smashed windows on the side of a highway as affected drivers and passengers tracked the damage.

While hail is a common summer phenomenon in the Po River Valley, Meteorologist Luca Lombroso told Il Resto di Carlino newspaper in Bologna that the strength and frequency of storms this year were “unusual”.

Based on his analysis, Coldiretti said, storms are occurring at a rate of 11 per day this summer for a total of 386 so far this year. Up until six years ago, there were a few dozen a year, but 92 were recorded in 2018 and 198 in 2019.

“The cold has changed in size as well, it’s grown exponentially in recent years, and real blocks of ice have fallen larger than tennis balls,” Coldiretti said.

Cold storms can destroy fields and orchards. Coldiretti attributes the 40% drop in peach and apricot yields and the 50% drop in nectarines to “this crazy weather.”

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In the video, a strong hail storm in Italy

(with AP info)

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