Chennai was in for a mid-afternoon surprise on Thursday when a sudden hailstorm, combined with sleet, descended on certain parts of the city.

©K. Pichumani

The hailstorm, lasting a few minutes, was witnessed by people on the arterial Anna Salai, Cathedral Road and Kodambakkam High Road and in Triplicane and Mylapore.


However, the Meteorological department said the observatory in Nungambakkam did not record a hailstorm. "We have recorded 7.5 mm rainfall [between 2-30 p.m. and 5-30 p.m.]," S. R. Ramanan, Director, Area Cyclone Warning Centre, said.

An official in the climatology section said that Chennai had never recorded a hailstorm.

The downpour caused chaos on roads, especially on Anna Salai, with drenched motorists parking vehicles haphazardly and ducking for cover.

The roads were a telling picture after the skies cleared, with twigs and broken flag posts and festoons.