While hailstones are ice, hail is mostly a summer phenomena because the strong thunderstorms needed to produce hail are much more common during warm weather.
The first thunderclap brought down raindrops and hailstones as big as marbles.
The really big hailstones usually accompany ferocious thunderstorms that produce tornados.
Thunder, lightning and hailstones battered the field at Carpvale on Sunday making long pole fishing a game for only the most foolhardy for long spells of the contest.
Showers of sleet, snow and hailstones will continue up to the weekend but there will be clear spells with the possibility of sunshine breaking through in the latter half of the week.
In a thunderstorm with fast-rising air, supercooled water droplets can freeze and grow into hailstones as other supercooled drops hit them and freeze.
In the middle of an incessant thunderstorm, with hailstones making vision almost impossible, feeling cold and hungry, 50 miles from home, the enormity of what I was letting myself in for began to sink in.
A holiday jet plunged thousands of feet as it was pelted with massive hailstones and struck by lightning on its way to Manchester Airport.
Hail showers are quite common over the British Isles in westerly and northerly airstreams in spring, but really large hailstones tend to occur in the south and are very much a feature of Summer months.
At about two a tremendous dust storm came in followed by hailstones as big as cricket balls.