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Plane forced to land after being battered by hailstones at 32,000 feet
A plane had to make an emergency landing in China yesterday after being battered by hailstones at more than 32,000 feet.
Huge lumps of ice smashed the plane's nose cone and shattered two windscreens in the cockpit, according to pictures released by Chinese aviation authority CAAC.
All passengers and crew members on the Tianjin Airlines' flight were safe, according to the carrier.
The domestic flight was travelling from Tianjin, a major Chinese port city, to Haikou, a popular beach destination, when it encountered the severe weather.
The flight number GS7865 was struck by hailstones about two hours into its four-hour-long journey.
Pictures taken after the emergency landing show the plane's nose cone had a large dent and was seriously damaged; and the outer layer of two of its windscreens were broken.
According to information on Flightrader24, the plane took off from Tianjin Binhai International Airport at 3:26pm local time yesterday. It was expected to arrive in Haikou Meilan International Airport at 6:25pm.
The aircraft is said to be an Airbus A320-232, which can typically carry 158 passengers.
The aircraft was cruising at 9,800 metres (32,152 feet) above Zhengzhou when the hail occurred, according to local newspaper Dahe.
n an online statement, the airline said the A320 plane was diverted to Wuhan. It made a safe landing and all passengers were unhurt.
The flight resumed its journey in the evening from Wuhan and arrived in Haikou at 1:34am today local time. It remains unclear if they airline changed the aircraft for the remainder of the journey.
Headquartered in Tianjin Binhai International Airport in north-east China, Tianjin Airlines operates both domestic and international flights. It has more than 160 flight routes to more than 100 cities.
Jan 31st 2017
Britain is facing washout weather this week - with warnings of a sharp drop in temperatures next month.
After last week's freeze, the Met Office is forecasting wet and windy weather for the next two weeks, with temperatures a few degrees above average for the time of year.
But forecasters warned that the recent cold conditions could return in the second half of February, when a "prolonged" chill is expected.
A Met Office forecaster said: "In the coming days, we are all likely to see some rain but there is the potential for the weather to get quite a bit milder, a few degrees above what might be expected for this time of year."
"It will be unsettled though, windy at times with gales possible in some areas," he said.
The Met Office said wintry conditions could return within weeks.
"During the second half of February, there are signs of a more prolonged colder spell developing, with high pressure centred over the UK, bringing in colder air from the continent," the forecaster said.
"In some parts of the country that could mean temperatures drop below the average for the time of year, with the potential for the odd frost in some places."
Hail is formed when water droplets fall through air and the temperature is low enough that they will freeze, if there is moisture in this air these ice drops will pick up more moisture and freeze it, the longer they are falling through the moist air the bigger the stones become, in exceptional circumstances they can grow to be large enough to cause considerable damage to humans, structures and crops.
Motor vehicles are advised to stop and pull under shelter if possible as large lumps of ice falling out of the sky will make quite a mess of your car body work, and the greater the impact the more the damage, fruit growers are helpless when they see their soft fruits ruined, even if they are not knocked off the trees they will be bruised and unsalable.
Tornadoes will often spawn a shower of large hailstones traveling at high speed so if you see the tornado first, take shelter immediately, just pick up your grab-bag and head for the cellar; the only thing that is important is to make sure that you and your family survive the tornado, you may lose a lot of material things, but these are replaceable and if you have taken our advice the family treasures will have already been stored safely.
Animals seem to have a sixth sense when it comes to impending disturbances such as earthquakes and bad storms, so if your animals are acting strangely take particular note of the weather forecasts and what you can see on the horizon, some old people living in the country, with their vast experience become quite clever at forecasting the weather for the next few days.
Weather forecasters have recently developed many more collecting systems and with today’s super computers they can very accurately predict what your weather will be doing in the immediate future, the further into the future they forecast the less accurate they become but if they issue a forecast for a particular area they can now say that the rain will start in the next 15 minutes.
Nearly 100% of these storms will produce raindrop size stones which do no damage other than to collect in the gutters and drains and this might cause some local flooding, it is the odd one or two percent that are likely to make a mess of your greenhouse with its relatively thin glass.
Fortunately with modern communication systems these dangerous situations can be monitored easily and warnings issued by local government, civil defense, police, local radio and television.
Here is a video of hailstones falling