Ice Falls

akaWiintermoon

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#1
From the FT.com Home page.

2 April. On this day in 1973, R.F.Griffiths, a Meteorologist out strolling near Manchester, was nearly *brained by a block of ice that fell at his feet.

*Is 'brained' serious terminology for a brain/head injury now?!lol :D
 
A

Anonymous

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#3
Chinese Hail

From the BBC:

'Freak hail stones the size of eggs have killed 22 people and injured 200 in China's central Henan province, local media reports say.

Trees were uprooted, vehicles damaged and power supplies disrupted by winds gusting up to over 70 km/h in the central province of Henan.

Most of the deaths came when buildings in the northern town of Zhengzhou collapsed, including a petrol station.'
 

Spookyangel

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#4
I saw that on the news today. They had no warning apparently, so no one could prepare for it. Very sad. :(
 

JamesWhitehead

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#5
Sad indeed. In themselves, though, giant hail-stones are not ultra-rare.

When I lived in Southport, we experienced a fall of huge hail, the largest
were about the size of hen's eggs. My brother kept one in his freezer
for some time after. This would be in the late seventies, I guess. A
skylight pane was broken in our house but the damage was rather
less than we would have expected from the size of the things.

I don't recall hearing that anyone had been injured. :rolleyes:
 

meanderer1

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#6
Apparently (BBC News) so many were killed in China because houses were caused to collapse because of the weight of the hailstones. There is to be an investigation into building practices.
 

Anome

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#7
Meanderer said:
Apparently (BBC News) so many were killed in China because houses were caused to collapse because of the weight of the hailstones. There is to be an investigation into building practices.
I was going to try to be ironic about the idea of Chinese building standards, but I thought better of it. I'll simply say that the reason (or one of them, at least) that Chinese houses aren't built to take this kind of treatment is that they're trying to house so many people. I strongly suspect that, despite any recommendations to the contrary, that there will be little improvement.

Not that this is unique to China: given the recent experience I've had during the construction of the new building at work (dealing with both sub-contractors and the project managers), I seriously doubt that similar recommendations would get anything more than lip-service in this country.

Of course another reason is that no-one thinks to plan for hailstones that big. With the amount of damage done during a heavy hailstorm in Sydney (in 1999), no-one's really planning for it here either.
 
A

Anonymous

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#8
Blue Ice

http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_666017.html?menu=

Frozen toilet waste drops into family's bathroom

A chunk of frozen toilet waste from an airliner has damaged a bathroom in a Long Island house after crashing through the roof.

Teacher Susan Seltzer, of North Massapequa, had left the house in New York state to go shopping just before the waste crashed through her roof.

The New York Daily News says she found ice, about the size of a honeydew melon, in the hallway when she returned.

Her husband Kenneth said the ball of ice punched a hole in the roof, damaged joists in the attic and then holed the bathroom ceiling before bouncing 15 feet down the hall.

The family has a second bathroom which wasn't hit.

Mrs Seltzer said: "Aren't they supposed to dump this stuff over the ocean? I don't think they were aiming for my toilet."

Local police and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the incident.

Airliners are supposed to dump toilet waste over bodies of water.
 
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#10
Couldn't find a general thread so here it is. Story from the front page:

Block of ice falls from sky, smashes through roof

22.01.2004
By PATRICK GOWER

It came from the sky - a block of ice the size of a rugby ball falling with enough force to smash straight through Jan Robertson's roof last night.

Plummeting at an estimated 450km/h, it punctured the concrete tile roof, the ceiling gib and a light socket before landing on the kitchen bench.

"There was this terrific bang like goodness knows what," she told the Herald. "I could have been in there cutting up vegetables."

It was just before 5pm and Mrs Robertson, 80, was cleaning a bedroom in her Meadowbank house while her 83-year-old husband, Bruce, was outside pulling weeds - both just metres from where the ice-block hit.

They each ran to check that the other was okay and found the ice on the bench.

"It was like all hell breaking loose," Mr Robertson said.

His wife added: "There was debris on the toaster, on the kettle - it was everywhere."

The couple dialled 111.

Fireman John Sweeney said they were sceptical "until we saw it for ourselves".

Mr Sweeney estimated that the block weighed between 3kg and 5kg. Firefighters first thought it might have fallen from an aircraft or was a climatic phenomenon.

He said the block must have come from high up and was "bloody travelling" because it crashed through the roof as clean as a knife.

It is not the first time the neighbourhood has been hit. The Robertsons' neighbour, Pat Theobald, said ice fell on her house last week "and there wasn't a cloud in the sky".

Mrs Robertson said she believed it fell from an aircraft. "Where else could it come from?"

The east Auckland couple say they often hear aircraft overhead.

Niwa climate scientist Jim Salinger said it was very unlikely to be a natural hailstone because of its size and the lack of others around.

"It sounds like an aircraft got some icing on it from the moisture in the air ...

"It de-iced as it descended and the block dropped off."

Auckland University physics lecturer David Krofcheck said a 5kg block falling from a plane at 3050m would hit the ground at 400km/h.

"It wouldn't have had much friction, so there would have been plenty of energy to punch a hole through the roof.

"The people were very fortunate not to be underneath the ice as they could have easily been killed."

A Civil Aviation Authority spokesman said it would investigate if it received a complaint.

He said investigations into complaints last year about houses being coated in excrement found it was likely to be from ducks rather than planes.

Pacific Wings aviation writer Peter Clark said the ice block probably came from a water leak in a low-pressure zone of the plane.

He said because it was not "blue ice", it was unlikely to be toilet waste - although he could not guarantee it.

The block was melting fast last night, and as Mrs Robertson put it in the freezer she joked that she could put it in her gin and tonic, although she prefers an iceless brandy.

She said the couple would celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary this year - "if we don't get hit by any more ice."
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/storydisplay.cfm?storyID=3544936&thesection=news&thesubsection=general
 
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#11
Scientists puzzle over ice from sky

31.01.2004
By STUART DYE

When a mysterious ball of ice crashed through Jan Robertson's house, the 80-year-old had no idea she would plunge New Zealand into the centre of a scientific frenzy.

Geochemists, astrophysicists, meteorologists and geologists in Brazil, China, Spain and Russia believe the intrusion may have been New Zealand's first "megacryometeor".

To the layman that is hailstones - jumbo hailstones.

Early investigations by the Civil Aviation Authority suggest that the ice contained chlorine, an indication that it had been treated by man.

"We understand there were two flights over the area at the time and it's possible a leak in an aircraft water pipe caused the block," said CAA spokesman Bill Sommer.

However, inspections of both aircraft have revealed no signs of where the ice could have come from.

Mrs Robertson got used to phone calls from scientists around the world but yesterday, 10 days after the incident, she said things had quietened down.

She was cleaning her Meadowbank home and her husband, Bruce, was in the garden when the ice missile the size of a rugby ball, travelling at about 400km/h, hurtled through the kitchen roof.

The International Working Group Fall of Blocks of Ice (IWGFBI) is a fledgling team of renowned scientists dedicated to investigating megacryometeors.

There have been 50 documented cases around the world. Ice balls have punched holes in roofs, smashed car windshields and whizzed past people's heads.

The group's founder, Jesus Martinez-Frias, a planetary geologist, began investigating the ice falls after a spate in Spain three years ago.

It started with a soccer-ball-sized chunk plummeting from the sky on a sunny Madrid day and smashing through a parked car.

In something resembling a biblical plague, pieces of ice weighing up to 3kg rained on Spain out of cloudless skies for 10 days, then the phenomenon ended as suddenly as it began.

At first, scientists thought the giant hail was unique to Spain. But they have accumulated evidence that megacryometeors are a global event and have documented ice balls falling from cloudless skies everywhere from China to the United States.

They believe the 50 confirmed falls are a fraction of the actual number - most may hit unoccupied areas or melt before discovery.

The average weight is 12 to 15kg, but one whopper in Brazil tipped the scales at 200kg - the size of a V8 car engine.

Alarming as this may be for people's homes, cars and health, the scientists have a different concern.

"I'm not worried that a block of ice may fall on your head," said Professor Martinez-Frias, speaking from Madrid. "I'm worried that great blocks of ice are forming where they shouldn't exist."

His team quickly ruled out obvious explanations.

The ice balls, for instance, were not frozen water from toilets flushed on jetliners - they lacked urine or disinfectant traces.

They could not be debris from a comet as lab tests showed that megacryometeors had the distinctive chemical signature of ice in ordinary terrestrial hailstones.

That leaves monster hailstones forming in a cloudless sky - a notion that defies more than a century of research on hail formation.

Scientists are concentrating on two possibilities. One, that megacryometeors are a weird byproduct of global warming; two, that ice crystals in aircraft contrails left floating in the air for days are swept through cold, humid air pockets, forming large balls.

Neither theory is particularly popular.

"I don't like to claim that anything is impossible, but this comes awfully close," says Charles Knight, a hail expert at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research in Colorado.

The worry is that, if megacryometeors are a result of global warming, they are likely to increase.

Professor Martinez and his colleagues are pooling their knowledge, but an answer is likely to take years.

How hail forms

* Hail forms in the updrafts and downdrafts of thunderstorms.

* Freezing particles join as they are tossed round in the wind and the hailstone grows, layer by layer.

* Megacryometeors show the telltale onion skin layering seen in hailstones.

* They also contain dust particles and air pockets found in hail.

* But they are formed in cloudless skies, a notion that defies research on hail formation.
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/storydisplay.cfm?storyID=3546593&thesection=news&thesubsection=general

Why do I suspect its not the first New Zealand case?

Emps
 
A

Anonymous

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#12
Finally good to see someone looking at an explanation other than the "its from a plane" one.

According to RA Lafferty, mystery ice blocks are actually jettisoned from "flying islands" which are not usually seen because they disguise themselves as clouds.

Whatever happened to that scientist who claimed to have sattelite photos showing hundreds of ice meteors raining down on Earths atmosphere every day?
 
A

Anonymous

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#13
I can't beleive I forgot to put this up on the FT website at the time ... but here goes anyway !

My Mum was driving along an isolated road near Helston in Cornwall, and a melon sized (more Galia than Watermelon) lump of 'slushy mud' (that's how she described it) plopped out of the sky and on to the bonnet of her car..

The mud & water immediately covered her windscreen so she stopped very abruptly and got out. She said that her first instinct was to look up, but there was nothing as far as the eye could see..

By the time I next saw her she cleaned it all off, so I never got the chance to see it first hand - but it didn't stop people making jokes about 'crapsicles' from planes and such like..
 

wembley8

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#14
"Whatever happened to that scientist who claimed to have sattelite photos showing hundreds of ice meteors raining down on Earths atmosphere every day?"

The argument continues - but I haven;t heard anything lately.
In any case the ice meteors would not reach the ground.

http://science.msfc.nasa.gov/uvi/headlines/ast09dec97_2.htm

"Earth's sky would sparkle like a Christmas tree, its air would hold at least 30,000 times more inert gas and its moon would be pocked with millions more bright-spot craters than spacecraft see if a prominently publicized small-comet theory were correct, scientists from The University of Arizona in Tucson report in the Dec. 15 issue of Geophysical Research Letters"
 

Mighty_Emperor

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#15
Attack of the Giant Ice Balls!

Dennis_Loney



Courtesy Tierra

In January 2000, Spain came under attack from an unknown assailant. Giant chunks of ice dropped from cloudless skies and crushed car hoods, punched through rooftops and windshields, and slammed into the shoulder of an elderly woman. In a 10-day period, 15 basketball-sized ice balls weighing up to 8 pounds pelted southern Spain.

At first, Spanish authorities deemed the mysterious mass the work of passing aircraft—likely frozen excrement from the lavatory or perhaps condensed ice sliding off the wing—and sent the offending ball to the laboratory to be examined. But then the ice balls kept falling, and new theories emerged: Perhaps it was something extraterrestrial like stray ice from a passing comet, or perhaps a byproduct of some strange new meteorological condition? Was it a hoax? Is it a hoax?

Jesus Martinez-Frias, a senior scientist at the Center for Astrobiology in Madrid, raced all over Spain collecting the chunks of ice preserved by witnesses and brought them back to the lab for analysis. Martinez-Frias and his team found that the ice balls did not contain human excrement or the trademark blue disinfectant used in airplane toilets. They also discovered that the ice balls did not fall from an airplane’s fuselage because the sites did not correspond with known flight paths.

They also found there was nothing extraterrestrial about them. Martinez-Frias and his co-workers discovered that the ice had the chemical signature of this world’s hailstones.

Of course, after the story broke, a couple of merry pranksters made fraudulent ice balls—one out of salt, the other taken from a restaurant freezer—which were easily identifiable as imposters not only because of their chemical signature, but also because they lacked the trademark onionskin layering of hailstones.

Most hailstones are the size of peas and weigh a fraction of an ounce; sometimes they reach the size of baseballs. The largest hailstone on record in the United States weighed in at 27 ounces—nowhere close to the 6 to 8 pound monsters that dropped on Spain. The really big hailstones usually accompany ferocious thunderstorms that produce tornados.

Hailstones are formed by winds known as updrafts that blow upward in thunderstorms. The droplets of supercooled water—water that is at a temperature below freezing, but not yet ice—are carried upward where they hit ice crystals, freezing them instantly and causing the ice ball to grow. Hailstones cycle between the updraft to the top of the cloud, the descent along the outer edge of the cloud, and back up again. The hailstones grow with each revolution until they become too heavy for the updraft to lift anymore, and they fall out the bottom of the cloud.

Which is why, what scientists are now calling megacryometeors are so puzzling. If megacryometeors really are big hailstones, the updrafts would have to be extremely strong. And you would expect that they would be accompanied by the storm of the century, but instead they have fallen from cloudless skies.

Since the deluge of megacryometeors that rained on Spain in January 2000, the Martinez-Frias team has studied and followed this phenomenon; and they have found that this phenomenon isn’t unique to Spain. Argentina, Australia, Austria, Canada, Colombia, The Netherlands, New Zealand, and the United States have reported a megacryometeor event. In all, there have been more than 50 confirmations, and the researchers believe that is only a small fraction of the actual number. The ice balls are getting larger too: 25 and 35 pounders are frequently reported. Recently, Brazil reported a 440-pound behemoth.

So what’s the deal—really big hail or something else?

Global warming might be to blame: The researchers found a meteorological anomaly on the days preceding the megacryometeorological events; ozone levels were unusually low over southeastern Spain, which allowed more solar radiation to reach the troposphere, thereby cooling the lower stratosphere.

Another meteorological team found that the lower stratosphere was unusually moist during the 10 days the ice balls fell. They speculated that the nuclei of the ice ball could have been lingering jet contrails that then descended through a nearly saturated atmosphere.

There have been detractors. Some meteorologists and hail experts have denounced the theories posed by Martinez-Frias, stating that formation of hail without thick highly-visible clouds is an impossibility.

However, in the summer of 2002, Martinez-Frias and fellow researchers proposed a novel mechanism for generating what one would constitute as hail on a clear day.

Perhaps megacryometeors is the work of a master prankster; perhaps it’s the byproduct of global warming. I’m sure we’ll soon find out. After all, the sky is rising—say scientists in California.

This article first appeared on March 1, 2004.
http://www.chemistry.org/portal/a/c/s/1/feature_tea.html?id=c373e9faf60e15558f6a4fd8fe800100

[edit: Just highlighting the bit lbd pointed out ;) ]
 

littleblackduck

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#16
Giant Ice Balls

Attack of the Giant Ice Balls

Attack of the Giant Ice Balls!

Dennis_Loney




Courtesy Tierra
In January 2000, Spain came under attack from an unknown assailant. Giant chunks of ice dropped from cloudless skies and crushed car hoods, punched through rooftops and windshields, and slammed into the shoulder of an elderly woman. In a 10-day period, 15 basketball-sized ice balls weighing up to 8 pounds pelted southern Spain.

At first, Spanish authorities deemed the mysterious mass the work of passing aircraft—likely frozen excrement from the lavatory or perhaps condensed ice sliding off the wing—and sent the offending ball to the laboratory to be examined. But then the ice balls kept falling, and new theories emerged: Perhaps it was something extraterrestrial like stray ice from a passing comet, or perhaps a byproduct of some strange new meteorological condition? Was it a hoax? Is it a hoax?

Jesus Martinez-Frias, a senior scientist at the Center for Astrobiology in Madrid, raced all over Spain collecting the chunks of ice preserved by witnesses and brought them back to the lab for analysis. Martinez-Frias and his team found that the ice balls did not contain human excrement or the trademark blue disinfectant used in airplane toilets. They also discovered that the ice balls did not fall from an airplane’s fuselage because the sites did not correspond with known flight paths.

They also found there was nothing extraterrestrial about them. Martinez-Frias and his co-workers discovered that the ice had the chemical signature of this world’s hailstones.

Of course, after the story broke, a couple of merry pranksters made fraudulent ice balls—one out of salt, the other taken from a restaurant freezer—which were easily identifiable as imposters not only because of their chemical signature, but also because they lacked the trademark onionskin layering of hailstones.

Most hailstones are the size of peas and weigh a fraction of an ounce; sometimes they reach the size of baseballs. The largest hailstone on record in the United States weighed in at 27 ounces—nowhere close to the 6 to 8 pound monsters that dropped on Spain. The really big hailstones usually accompany ferocious thunderstorms that produce tornados.

Hailstones are formed by winds known as updrafts that blow upward in thunderstorms. The droplets of supercooled water—water that is at a temperature below freezing, but not yet ice—are carried upward where they hit ice crystals, freezing them instantly and causing the ice ball to grow. Hailstones cycle between the updraft to the top of the cloud, the descent along the outer edge of the cloud, and back up again. The hailstones grow with each revolution until they become too heavy for the updraft to lift anymore, and they fall out the bottom of the cloud.

Which is why, what scientists are now calling megacryometeors are so puzzling. If megacryometeors really are big hailstones, the updrafts would have to be extremely strong. And you would expect that they would be accompanied by the storm of the century, but instead they have fallen from cloudless skies.

Since the deluge of megacryometeors that rained on Spain in January 2000, the Martinez-Frias team has studied and followed this phenomenon; and they have found that this phenomenon isn’t unique to Spain. Argentina, Australia, Austria, Canada, Colombia, The Netherlands, New Zealand, and the United States have reported a megacryometeor event. In all, there have been more than 50 confirmations, and the researchers believe that is only a small fraction of the actual number. The ice balls are getting larger too: 25 and 35 pounders are frequently reported. Recently, Brazil reported a 440-pound behemoth.

So what’s the deal—really big hail or something else?

Global warming might be to blame: The researchers found a meteorological anomaly on the days preceding the megacryometeorological events; ozone levels were unusually low over southeastern Spain, which allowed more solar radiation to reach the troposphere, thereby cooling the lower stratosphere.

Another meteorological team found that the lower stratosphere was unusually moist during the 10 days the ice balls fell. They speculated that the nuclei of the ice ball could have been lingering jet contrails that then descended through a nearly saturated atmosphere.

There have been detractors. Some meteorologists and hail experts have denounced the theories posed by Martinez-Frias, stating that formation of hail without thick highly-visible clouds is an impossibility.

However, in the summer of 2002, Martinez-Frias and fellow researchers proposed a novel mechanism for generating what one would constitute as hail on a clear day.

Perhaps megacryometeors is the work of a master prankster; perhaps it’s the byproduct of global warming. I’m sure we’ll soon find out. After all, the sky is rising—say scientists in California.

This article first appeared on March 1, 2004.
 

littleblackduck

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#18
Ah, the Master Prankster theory!

This caught my eye in the article posted here by Emperor and by myself elsewhere (sorry):

"Perhaps megacryometeors is the work of a master prankster .... "

Sound familiar?

I suspect, however, that the phenomenon of giant hailstones is going to be with us increasingly over the next few decades because of global warming.

Global warming, rising upper atmosphere (as mentionned in the NEW SCIENTIST article to which the posted article links (in the paragraph from which I quote), it stands to reason that whatever confluence of factors makes these giant hailstones will be making more of them.

The fact that many of these stones seem to be falling in Spain (and that many of Fort's falls seem to have occurred in India)
suggests to me that the factors involved may be:

a dry climate into which hot humid air moves; a mountainous or dry, nearly desert landscape, and dust.

Spain gets a lot of coloured rains from Sahara dust storms blowing out over the Atlantic being pushed back into Europe. The climate is naturally dry--if you have ever seen a physical map or satellite image mosaic, it looks very much like Morocco.

Giant hailstones are one of the signs of the Apocalypse, by the way.

The world's second largest re-assurance (re-insurance) company, Swiss Re, is predicting in an article I saw today that global warming/natural disaster losses will hit $150 billion a year in ten year's time, which will cost the industry $30-40 billion a year in pay-outs--as much as a 9/11 attack every year.

It may be the end of the world as we know it, but it is bound to be a nicely Fortean end. As George Carling says, lie back and try to enjoy it.

And then there is the famous poem, which I have probably posted before:

Fire and Ice

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

Robert Frost

(I must memorize this so I don't have to look it up any more. I know Einstein said that you should never bother to remember anything you can look up, but I don't have his mental work load.)

Robert Front wrote this poem "after being briefed on the theory of the cosmic endgame by the astronomer Harlow Shapley" according to Timothy Ferris:

TIME April 10, 2000
How Will the Universe End? (with a bang or a whimper?)
by TIMOTHY FERRIS

The fate of the cosmos is not fiery cataclysm,
say the latest telescopic observations, but a
gradual descent into eternal, frigid darkness.
 

littleblackduck

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#19
Wembley said:
"Whatever happened to that scientist who claimed to have sattelite photos showing hundreds of ice meteors raining down on Earths atmosphere every day?" ....
Another problem with this theory was that the alleged ice meteors would be about the size of houses, at the very limit of resolution, and therefore about one pixel in size on photographs. They were considered to be "artifacts"--which is to say random pixels, rather than true meteors, by critics.

Personally, I would be delighted to see the theory proven right. It would a Fortean result that give us oodles to think about, particularly in its consequences for the origin of water and Life on Earth. It would certainly encourage the Panspermia lobby to new industry.

Maybe water is filtering in in snowflake-sized bits rather than house-sized lumps. I don't know if that would help or hinder Panspermia, but it would add up to a considerable amount of water and other chemical species, seeing as dust-sized meteorites account for 100,000,000 tons a year or more.
 

Mighty_Emperor

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#20
LOL - no need to apologise - its a great report and its good that other people picked up on it as it would have been a shame if it had been missed ;)

I also agree we are in for increasingly weirder weather with global warming - I'm looking forward to a freakishly large hailstone (I'm aiming for nothing less than small caravan size - and knowing the nature of the universe I'll beocme aware of it moments before it flattens me on an otherwsie warm summer's day ;) ).

Odd events like Thundersnow:

http://www.forteantimes.com/forum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=13819

also show that thes ethings are possible not as infrequent as thought bu we'll see.

Emps
 
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#21
OK we know where this ice came from but........

NYC Couple Sues Over Falling 'Iceberg'


Saturday March 13, 2004 3:46 PM

By SAMUEL MAULL

Associated Press Writer

NEW YORK (AP) - A couple who say they were nearly killed by a 300-pound ice chunk that crashed through their apartment's roof and shattered on the bed where they were laying have sued the owner of the building next door.

Phillip and Lesley Carter suffered cuts and bruises to their heads and bodies in the Feb. 7 incident, in which the massive chunk of ice fell from the neighboring 10-story building.

``They were lucky to get out alive,'' said the couple's attorney, James Fitzgerald. ``When it hit the bed it exploded into many pieces and sliced them up.''

The lawsuit names real estate agent Lee Powers, the owner of the neighboring building, and two of her real estate firms as defendants.

Powers' telephone number is not published and attempts to reach her realty companies was unsuccessful.

The Carters contend in court papers that a leak in a three-story water tower on the roof of the next building caused an ``iceberg'' of more than 1,000 pounds to form.

Despite similar ice formations in prior years and warnings from neighbors, Powers did nothing to fix the problem, the lawsuit alleges.

On Feb. 7, around 9:30 a.m., the Carters were in bed, reading newspapers and drinking coffee when ``a giant stalactite of ice weighing 300 pounds'' broke off the larger chunk of ice and dropped 10 stories into their third-floor apartment on Manhattan's Upper West Side.

The ice tore a 2-foot diameter hole in the roof and ceiling of their third-floor bedroom.

The Fire Department declared the Carters' rental apartment ``uninhabitable due to dangerous (Ford Explorer size) ice formations still on the defendant's roof and water tower that could fall at any time,'' the lawsuit says.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,1280,-3856686,00.html
 

Mighty_Emperor

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#22
Article Published: Sunday, April 04, 2004 - 8:31:23 PM PST



Mysterious block of ice crashes into home

FONTANA - A woman awoke Saturday and discovered a large block of ice had crashed through her garage roof, destroying a car carrier and leaving her with a large hole in the home.

Anne Gavell, who lives in a house in the 8900 block of Encinas Avenue, found the damage shortly after noticing water coming from under her garage door at 7:30 a.m., said her son Jim Gavell.

A neighbor reported hearing a loud crash at the house around 3:00 to 3:30 a.m. Saturday, Jim Gavell said.

While the Los Angeles Airport Authority assured him the ice didn't come from a commercial airplane, Jim Gavell has his doubts. "It had to be an airplane, what else could it be?" he asked.

The large block was clear ice, not the blue "toilet ice' which has been known to fall from commercial airlines from time to time, he said.

Insurance adjusters will be out to survey the damage early this week, he said, adding that no one was injured in the incident.
http://www.dailybulletin.com/Stories/0,1413,203~21481~2063233,00.html
 

TheOrigDesperado

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#23
Considering the amount of the earth's surface covered by cars (probably in the billionths of a single percent), an amazing number of these ice blocks seem to fall on them...
 
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#24
I'm sure someone has suggested that cars get hit by meteorites more often than you'd think too. I have even seen a car being sold off along with the meteorite that hit it.

--------------------

FROM A CLEAR SKY:

Falling ice lumps destroyed playground

Carin Pettersson 14.04.04 12:57


Lumps of ice the size of a clenched fist fell this week from a clear sky over a playground just north of Stockholm, Sweden.

No one can explain where the lumps of ice came from, according to the Swedish paper Aftonbladet. The ice shower occurred between 5:40 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. Tuesday. The large ice lumps came falling out of a perfectly clear sky at a playground at Hammarbyvägen at Upplands-Väsby.

«I walked over to the playground around five in the morning,» explained the 70-year-old Bengt Eurs to the paper. «When I came back at seven, the roof of the gazebo was destroyed and there were large lumps of ice on the ground.»

«I have a hard time finding an apparent explanation of the phenomena, » said Isagel Cederfamn, a Swedish mythologist.

However, Aftenbladet points out that the playground is on the approach route for Stockholm’s main airport Arlanda.

Between 6:35 a.m. and 7.00 a.m. on Tuesday, 11 planes passed over the area, but both SAS and the airport management at Arlanda claim that it is highly unlikely that the lumps of ice came from any of these planes.
http://pub.tv2.no/nettavisen/english/article211985.ece
 
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#25
Chock ices away


By Vicky Wilks, South London Press


A BLOCK of ice believed to have fallen off an aeroplane came crashing through a woman's roof as she slept.

Sue Singh was woken up by a loud thud when the object smashed into her house.

The noise was so loud that she first thought a car had crashed into her garage at 8am on Saturday.

But when she looked out of the window, Mrs Singh was baffled to see large lumps of ICE and broken roof tiles scattered around her driveway.

Her neighbours also had the rude awakening and went outside the house investigating on Lancaster Avenue, West Norwood.

Mrs Singh said: "We were all confused, looking up at the sky and the roof."

Baffled Mrs Singh made her way up to her attic where she found a 14-inch hole in her roof and a block of ice sitting on the floor. Three roof tiles were smashed.

Police were called to the scene, inspected the mystery object, and advised her to ring the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), saying they suspected the ice had fallen from a plane.

Mrs Singh said: "I am still stressed and shocked - I have been like that all weekend. If it had fallen on somebody, that person would have been flat on the ground."

A spokesman for the CAA confirmed Mrs Singh's report and said it was under investigation.

He said the authority would look at recordings of aircraft which were flying overhead, then write to them to check if there were any problems reported with their water systems
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#26
'Blue Ice’ blamed for Blackstone mess




JOHN LARRABEE , Staff Writer
09/17/2004



BLACKSTONE -- Whatever goes up, must come down.

It’s an elementary law of physics -- and one that will, for a time, haunt a Lakeshore Drive resident whenever she looks toward the sky.

The woman (who agreed to talk if she remained anonymous) stepped out her front door Monday afternoon and found white and gray material flecked across her lawn, her porch and the front of her house. When her daughter suggested a vandal with a paintball gun had fired on their home, she called police.

The explanation offered by Patrolman Steven Livingston was even more disturbing. He theorized a jetliner had passed overhead while a passenger was flushing.

"It’s not poop, I know it’s not," the woman said yesterday, repeating the line several times in an effort to convince herself.

"It’s poop," her husband replied with resignation.

There are skeptics. Even Police Chief Ross Atstunpenas has some doubts about his officer’s report. "He doesn’t have the expertise to make that determination," said the chief, who never saw the splats himself.

But officials at the Federal Aviation Administration are hesitant to dismiss the possibility.

"Plane toilets do not flush into the air, but there is a phenomenon called ‘blue ice,’ " said Arlene Salac, spokeswoman for the FAA’s eastern regional office. "It involves leakage from the plane’s plumbing."

According to Salac, at high altitudes the leaking material can freeze and form icicles that hang from an aircraft’s underside. When the plane descends to warmer altitudes, the ice breaks off and falls to earth. Sometimes it melts, sometimes it doesn’t.

The material is called "blue ice" because that’s the color of the sanitizing liquid that swirls about in airliner toilets. Blue is really a guess, however; no one has ever peeked beneath a soaring plane to observe the icicles. Less squeamish aviation experts have suggested other hues.

Contrary to urban legends, falling sky sludge has never claimed a human life, but property damage has been reported on a number of occasions.

Last year a Santa Cruz resident sued American Airlines after a frozen chunk crashed through the skylight of his yacht. He collected ,236. And in 2002 US Airways sent a cleaning crew to scrub down a Pennsylvania home. The airline called it a "good will gesture," not an admission of guilt.

The FAA investigates every reported incident, according to Salac. "We try to find the plane it came from, but we’re not always successful," she said. "We do a chemical analysis to determine if it really is blue ice. Sometimes it’s not. On one occasion it turned out to be a flock of Canada geese. A very large flock."

She added that while the chemicals used in aircraft toilets are not hazardous, handling blue ice material is best avoided, for obvious reasons.

By yesterday afternoon, the Lakeshore Drive family had already cleaned most of the material from their property, but a few streaks and drops remained, including a white splotch across a glass panel on the front door.

"I scrubbed that with a toilet brush and every cleanser I could find," the woman said. "Please tell me this came from a sink, not a toilet."

She went on to describe the splatter zone. "It came across this way," she said, waving a hand past the front lawn. "It was all over the bushes, all over the porch, and all over the front of the house."

"I put my nose to it," a neighbor added. "It smelled like fish."

Most family members were inside when the mystery muck fell from the sky, but no one heard a sound. They learned something had happened when they stepped outside.

With reluctance, the family has dismissed the paintball scenario. Outdoor potted plants and shrubs are streaked and spotted, but there are no torn leaves, broken twigs, or other damage one would expect from paintball fire.

Nor do they believe that birds relieved themselves en masse.

"We feed the birds, and I see what they do all the time," the woman said. "This was not birds."
http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=12944956&BRD=1712&PAG=461&dept_id=24361&rfi=6
 
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#27
Ice chunk falls from sky onto tennis court

September 28, 2004

A chunk of ice the size of a boulder fell from the sky Monday and crashed in an unoccupied tennis court outside a North Ranch home in Thousand Oaks.

The ice chunk fell near the 4400 block of Fairway Court just before 11 a.m., said Herb Kalazair, a nearby resident. Kalazair was walking out of his garage when he heard a whooshing sound coming from the sky followed by a thunderous crash. Other neighbors and a group of workers also heard the noise but couldn't immediately locate what exactly had fallen.

"We thought it was a plane crash," Kalazair said. Another neighbor said the impact shook her house. They eventually discovered a fragmented mass of ice in a neighbor's tennis court.

"Nobody wanted to touch it," Kalazair said. "We didn't know if it was radioactive or contaminated. It looked like something from 'Mars Attacks.' "

Kalazair called 911, and an officer told him the chunk of ice could have come from an airplane.

Ice does sometimes fall from planes as the planes descend and the exterior temperatures rise, said Donn Walker, spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration Western-Pacific Region Headquarters in California.

The ice chunks form when condensation builds outside planes flying high enough where temperatures are below freezing. Once a plane starts to drop in elevation, any built-up ice can melt and slide off in large pieces.

"If that would have hit a house, it would have gone through the roof," Kalazair said.
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http://www.venturacountystar.com/vcs/co_valley/article/0,1375,VCS_166_3214850,00.html
 

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#28
Chilling Mystery Hits Kent

November 5, 2004

By George Howell



KENT - It's a "chilling" mystery -- how did chunks of ice wind up in an 8-year-old's bed in Kent?

Troy Halte and his family came home Thursday night around 6 p.m. from their daughter's ballet practice and weren't prepared for what they saw.

"I tucked my ballet shoes under my bed," 8-year-old Breez Halte said. "Then I saw a big hole in the ceiling. I turned the light on immediately... and ran out and got my dad."

Her dad Troy added: "My daughter went into her room to put her things away and came out quickly and said 'Dad, there's something silver hanging over my bed.' "

That "something silver" was insulation. There was indeed a huge hole in the ceiling, and on her bed were grapefruit-sized ice balls.

"There was insulation all over the bed," Breeze said. "It was just, huge...I thought it was a meteor from outer space," Breez added.

The family is keeping the ice in the freezer as a memento of what happened.

Meanwhile, the event has had an impact on the sleeping arrangements. Breeze doesn't even like going in her room anymore.

"She was frightened last night," her mom Rachel said. "She didn't want to come and get her pajamas out of her dresser and she slept in her brother's room (Thursday) night and then she came into our room last night scared that it might happen again."

Troy Halte climbed up on the roof to see what damage the ice caused up there.

"I climbed up on the roof and noticed that there was one very large hole and must have busted whatever it was up on impact," he said.

He called the FAA, and an investigator dropped by to survey the damage and see if it could be "blue ice." Blue ice occasionally falls from planes with leaking toilet, but the ice that hit the house is clear. One possibility is a build-up of ice on an airplane wing. The FAA will investigate.

In the meantime, Troy has his own theories.

"It seems to me as cold as it's been up there (in the sky), could have been rain or something," he said. "I don't know, I'm not a meteorologist. I'll leave that to Steve Pool."
http://www.komotv.com/stories/33823.htm
 

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#29
Falling ice a melting mystery

2004-11-06
by Bruce Rommel
Journal Reporter

KENT -- They came from the sky!

That's not the title of a classic 1950s science fiction movie.

But it's about all Troy and Rachel Halte know for sure about the ice chunks that slammed through the roof of their East Hill home and tore a hole in the Sheetrock ceiling before landing on the bed of their 8-year-old daughter.

The couple was thankful that their daughter, Breez, wasn't in her bedroom playing or doing homework when the mysterious chunks fell from above.

``It was pretty frightening when we analyzed the situation later,'' said Troy Halte, a longshoreman for the Port of Seattle.

The couple said Friday that they've been speculating the ice chunks fell from an aircraft heading for Sea-Tac Airport, about seven miles northeast of their neighborhood.

Federal Aviation Administration officials are investigating. Mike Fergus, an FAA spokesman, said the fist-sized ice chunks Troy Halte found in his daughter's bedroom and in the back yard don't appear to be ``blue ice.''

That's the stuff that occasionally falls from passing aircraft that have leaks in their lavatory systems, which are filled with a bluish-green fluid. As the fluid dribbles outside the skin of an aircraft in flight, it is immediately frozen into thin layers of ice on the aircraft's exterior. Eventually, the ``blue ice'' builds up and breaks free and falls.

Such incidents are rare, although Fergus said he knows of two incidents in the Santa Cruz, Calif., area in 2003, where residents found ``blue ice'' fallen from aircraft. He didn't know of any such incidents in Western Washington in recent years.

Troy Halte found five ice chunks of what he described as ``clear ice,'' saving several chunks in his freezer. The blankets and sheets of Breez's bed were soaked, indicating some of it had melted before the family returned home and discovered it.

The Haltes have lived in the one-story rambler on 120th Avenue Southeast near Millennium Elementary School for about seven years. They often see aircraft passing overhead.

When the ice chunks fell isn't known. Rachel Halte, a service technician at Boeing, was at work Thursday when Troy Halte left about 4 p.m. with Breez and her 2-year-old brother, Lee, for Breez's ballet lesson.

They returned about 5:30 p.m., and Breez entered her bedroom to find the down comforter and blankets on her bed in disarray.

``I saw the insulation hanging down from the hole up there,'' she said, pointing at an oval-shaped hole, about 18-by-24 inches in size in the ceiling.

``Then I saw a pile of stuff on my bed and I went to get my dad,'' Breez said.

Since nobody knows when the ice chunks hit the family's home, there's no way to tell whether they might have fallen from a commercial passenger or cargo airplane, or some private aircraft.

Mary Jane Olson, a spokeswoman for The Boeing Co., said her company's ``icing experts'' say it is theoretically possible, under certain weather conditions, for ice to form on the leading edge of an airplane's wings, then build up and fall off.

But Olson said she's never heard of any incident in this area or elsewhere where icing from an aircraft fell and struck buildings or landed near people.

``We have airline customers around the world, and whenever anything unusual happens, we hear about it,'' Wilson said.
http://www.kingcountyjournal.com/sited/story/html/177777
 
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#30
. . ice not only forms on the leading edges of aircraft wings but can "flow" back - super cooled water droplets don`t freeze instantaneously on contact - before freezing and create lumps of ice on parts of the airframe not equiped with de-icing boots or mats. Super cooled water droplets are in the temperature range of zero to roughly -25 deg C - aircraft icing isn`t a problem at temps lower than that - and exist because of a lack of nuclei for them to adhere to.
This form of ice acretion is typified by its opaque look - air being trapped inside - and is formed essentially by the same process that creates hail stones.
Flying through a big fat cumulus cloud - not even yet thunder storm material - in an otherwise cloudless sky (Spain has to be a classic)
could easily produce these conditions and load an aircraft with enough ice to seriously degrade its performance and cause the crew to change direction away from its planned route, albeit temporarily. The sad fact is that people have died through ice accretion like this.
Of course once clear of the problem area maybe several tons of ice ( the weight of water in a decent sized cumulus cloud is in the order of 3 to 400,000 tons) now finds itself trying to stick to an increasingly warm aircraft . . .
an aircraft doing 500mph 6miles up is some launch pad for a lump of ice and it could easily arrive on the ground in a cloudless area. The evaperation process in the now dry air - there is no cloud - would re-shape the lump.
Personally, I would want to see the shape of the original chunk of ice immediately on its arrival and not by the time it was found and someone afterwards went for a camera.
Don`t forget that weather systems can stall and sit in place for more than a week and produce the same effect until it clears.
 
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