I think I may have mentioned on more than one occasion that Italy has extremes of weather! When it rains it is in torrents; when it is windy it is gale force (it throws our heavy caste iron chairs to the ground); when it’s hot, it burns. But Friday was a surprise to everyone.
As I described in A vase on Monday – Needs Must there was torrential rain and wind during the early hours of Friday morning, followed by more rain and heavy clouds all day.
At about 6pm my husband phoned to ask if I was OK, I was a bit mystified but he went on to say that he’d heard that Viterbo had been hit by a dreadful hail storm and he was worried knowing I had already planted out some tomatoes, peppers and aubergines.
The hail storm lasted, according to friends in town for 50 minutes to an hour – it NEVER hails for that long!
Here are some pictures taken by people at the station.
The car still had a large amount of accumulated hail on the windscreen looking just like snow; some remained on the ground until the following morning. Friday evening the pavements still looked as if there had been a snow storm. I have never seen anything like it in my life.
We are only about 5 km from Viterbo and I am happy to tell you that we had no hail at all, just heavy rain that broke a few more tulips, but that is nothing to the damage that would have been done by the hail.
Today (Monday, as I write this) the weather has changed again and it is very hot. In the greenhouse the temperature has risen to 39.4° C and I am a little sunburnt on the back on the neck. I have been planting out more tomatoes. One of the stands has been moved to a shady place outside the greenhouse as it is now too hot inside for salad crops and I’m about to plant some other tomatoes into the ground.
I read with interest Gardening Jules’ post about growing tomatoes to just one truss. I’m going to try this in the greenhouse this year (maybe two trusses) as pollinators don’t go in when the temperatures are consistently high and this might be a good way to get an early crop of largish tomatoes and then remove the plants, possible planting some more for a late crop in August.