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Freak hail and flooding creates summer icebergs in a Mexican city

Despite summer heat, the streets of Guadalajara were uncharacteristically icy this week.

Water, slush and ice piled up to six feet (1.8 meters) high in the middle of the Mexican summer on Sunday. Viral videos and photos have been circulating online of buried cars and the residents of Guadalajara, a large city in central Mexico, digging out of icy muck.

Despite some reports that six feet of hail actually fell from the sky on Sunday, meteorologists online have been pointing out that the ensuing flooding after the intense storm more likely transported the precipitation to low points where it reached depths of up to six feet. 

"These enormous #hail drifts are almost certainly the result of an urban flash flood during hail-producing thunderstorm, which washed huge volumes of hail ice from around city into culverts & low-lying areas. Ice floats, so it can go wherever floodwaters do," climate scientist Daniel Swain wrote on Twitter

High temperatures in Guadalajara have been in the 80s F (around 30 C) the past few days, so all that hail certainly has a short street life. 

Hail storms in summer are not particularly unusual, especially at high elevations. Guadalajara sits at roughly the same height as Denver. In fact, as Swain points out, similar events have happened to the north in the high desert plains of New Mexico as well.

So while an event like this might not technically be unprecedented, you'd likely have a hard time telling that to residents of Guadalajara who are unlikely to forget this past Sunday anytime soon.