In last week’s weather column, there was a distinctly football-orientated theme. My apologies to those not interested in the beautiful game as we’re returning to football again.
Belgium took on Tunisia in Brussels last Saturday, the final warm-up match for Belgium before the World Cup. It was certainly warm, with temperatures climbing to 30C during the daytime amidst high humidity. Midway through the first half, the intense heat triggered a thunderstorm over the King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels with torrential rain and frequent lightning.
Most spectacular of all, however, was the severe hail that accompanied the storm.
Chunks of ice the size of golf balls sent players and fans scurrying for cover; a wise decision, given that hail this size is dangerous enough to smash car windscreens.
Meanwhile, thousands of miles away across the Atlantic, another thunderstorm caused delays in Miami, Florida, as England took on Honduras. Just before half time, vivid lightning strikes forced officials to bring players off the pitch and urge fans to seek shelter.
Perhaps more so than in Europe, sporting events are often paused during thunderstorms in America as our Stateside counterparts seemingly have a greater awareness of the dangers posed by lightning.
Commentary during both the England and Belgium games was rather puzzling. Football pundits proclaimed that it was ridiculous to see hailstones in summertime, whilst the last thing anyone would have expected was lightning in Florida.
In actual fact, hail is quite common in summer as it forms high in thunderclouds where temperatures are well below freezing.
Imagine dropping a large lump of ice from an aircraft; it’s unlikely to completely melt on its way to the ground. As for declaring lightning in Florida as unusual, it is actually known as the lightning capital of America and thunderstorms occur daily in summer.
As for our weather, the threat of thundery downpours will recede with mainly dry and often quite sunny weather expected tomorrow and Friday.
With temperatures in the low 20s Celsius, it should feel warm.
Turning cooler and a little cloudier this weekend but staying mainly fine.