Feb 28, 2007
FREAK summer weather hit large areas of drought-hit Australia's east coast on Wednesday, with a hail storm leaving ice blanketed across the capital Canberra and torrential rain causing flash flooding in Sydney. While thunder storms are common in Canberra in the last month of summer, the RARE hail storm left the national capital resembling snow-bound cities in the United States, with tractors sent out to clear ice from busy roads. It left metre-deep (3 ft) ice in parts of Canberra's central business district, and caused flooding and damage in over 60 buildings at the nearby Australian National University and the city's main shopping centre. Residents reported up to 70 millimetres (2.7 inches) of rain in an hour during the overnight storm. Canberra had already SET A RECORD FOR THE MOST THUNDERSTORMS IN A SINGLE MONTH, with 14 so far in February.