April 30, 1888 - One of the deadliest hailstorms in history happened on this day in India. It struck at midday in the small farming community of Moradabad. The sky turned pitch black and strong winds toppled many structures. Then came the baseball-sized hail that blazed to the ground at 106 miles an hour.
246 people died under the lethal barrage. Most of the victims had been working in the fields when the storm hit without warning. Thousands of farm animals were also killed. Some who survived the initial downpour would freeze to death under drifts of hail stones.
Hail trivia: Did you know hail causes over a billion dollars in damage to crops and property every year? If you cut a hailstone in half you'll find it has concentric rings like an onion. These indicate the number of times the hailstone traveled up and down inside the storm cell before falling to the ground.