Hail to spring as April shower becomes a deluge

The effects of the hailstorm and flash flooding on Middlewood Road on Saturday afternoon.                                                                                                                Picture: Richard Connolly.
The effects of the hailstorm and flash flooding on Middlewood Road on Saturday afternoon. Picture: Richard Connolly.

IT was promising to be an exceptionally dry as well as warm month until the heavens opened.

Parts of Sheffield were deluged on Saturday afternoon when sunshine turned to rain and even hail.

Roads quickly flooded and traffic was brought to a standstill on the Sheffield Parkway, the inner relief road and around the Wicker, which saw some of the worst flooding in the downpours of four years ago.

Some people caught outside said the hailstones were so big they left bruises on their arms.

Penistone Road, Hillsborough, Middlewood, Walkley and Parson Cross were among the areas hit by the deluge – as was Bramall Lane at the other side of the city, where United were playing the first half against Bristol City.

“There was a monsoon, a hailstorm, then another monsoon and back to sunshine,” said one United supporter.

There were reports of houses in Holgate Avenue being flooded with raw sewage because the drains could not cope.

“It just goes to show that despite the past floods the drainage systems in Sheffield still can’t cope with a sudden downpour,” said one online observer.

But the freak weather was very localised. Some districts of Sheffield were untouched.

Weather forecaster Paul Knightley, of MeteoGroup, said it was the result of “humidity near the ground surface, the uplift from the moors and converging winds”.

He added: “The hailstones didn’t have too much warm air to fall through on the way down, so there wasn’t a great deal of melting.”