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Epic hailstorm or neighborhood animal roof party?

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Last night around midnight, I went to bed, so exhausted I could barely keep my eyes open.

Sometime in the middle of the night—I want to say 3 a.m.ish, but I may just have made that up—there was a barrage of loud thuds on my roof. In my sleep-addled state, having just seen Ponyo (more on which later), I was certain that someone had summoned a vast herd of small sentient rocks.

It happened again and again. Probably half a dozen times. By the fourth or fifth time, I was barely awake enough to decide that it must be a storm with extremely loud rain. Maybe hail? Big hail, and my roof had turned to tin?

I turned on my white-noise generator. Overwhelmed by the return of the roof noise. Turned the white-noise generator's volume way up. Roof noise still louder. Put in earplugs and turned up the white-noise generator again, and finally got back to sleep, though that may just have been that the roof noise didn't come back after that.

Now it's 8:20 in the morning, and I've stopped sleeping, but I'm barely more awake than I was when I went to bed.

I looked outside, and everything is wet, but it's not inundated. The skies are gray. Weather.com's hourly report for the past couple days seems to indicate that there's been no precipitation here at all in the past 24 hours, unless I'm misreading it, which is entirely possible, seeing as how I'm basically asleep. (But there's supposed to be thunderstorms later today. Impressive, given yesterday's clear blue skies and warm sunshine.)

I've been awakened by small animals (presumably squirrels) running across my roof before. But that's only ever been one or two fast traversals of the roof, and one or two animals. If last night was animals, then it sounded like dozens or hundreds of them, swarming across the roof over and over.

All of the above explanations seem equally unlikely. Any of you locals hear anything?

It's also entirely possible that it was just a small rain shower and that for some reason it sounded very loud to me. If so, I'm going to need to do something about it before the rainy season starts, because I won't be able to sleep in this house if that's what rain on the roof sounds like.

3 Comments

It's been raining here in Alameda, with thunder and lightning. Weather Underground says chance of hail today. I'd say the most logical explanation is that it hailed down there, and it just hasn't shown up on a weather report because it happened in the middle of the night.


We were woken up around 4am(?) by heavy rains, followed by thunder which reminded me of shaking metal sheets in a theatre to emulate said sound. Then there were intermittent flashes of lightening. It seemed oddly comforting, since I managed to fall back to sleep during a pause in all that climatic activity.

My weather apps (I confess I have more than one!) have mentioned rain possibly occurring a week or two from now. But not for last night, iirc. AccuWeather predicts sunny skies for today, whereas The Weather Channel seems a bit more realistic with stating a 30% chance of thunderstorms.


Epic hailstorm. Woke me up too, and I wondered whether it was heavy rain or hail until I heard it going "ping" off the metal bits of the window.


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