Videos: Italy Pounded With Massive Hailstones

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Fist-sized hailstones and winds in excess of 75mph cause chaos in city of Naples

massive hailstones

The Italian city of Naples was pounded with a storm of massive hailstones on Sunday, many the size of baseballs.

The huge ice chunks caused traffic chaos, battered cars, shattered and smashed windows and injured a number of people and animals.

RT reports:The “baseball size hailstones” fell from thunderstorms at a speed of “at least 75 miles per hour,” according to Jonathan Erdman, a senior meteorologist for the Weather Channel.

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“It’s no wonder you can see the magnitude of smashed windshields and structural damage,” he added.

Video footage shows the gigantic hailstones pummeling a car windshield, shattering the glass.

Another shows the ice balls crashing into the sea alongside a boat, as shocked passengers watch them hit the water.

The hail can also be seen hammering the pavement, making a crashing sound with each hit.

The storm was caused by a southward plunge of the jet stream that carved into western Europe, sending an upper disturbance into the Italian peninsula on Saturday, according to Erdman.

That instability stirred up a thunderstorm over the Mediterranean, which swept into Italy and caused the hailstones.

While the hailstones were certainly impressive, they weren’t Europe’s most destructive. Germany holds that record, with a hailstorm that caused an estimated US$2 billion in damages in 1984.