Gloucestershire Residents Baffled Over Raining Hay Phenomenon

According to the Cheltenham weather forecast, residents can expect dry weather and clear blue skies but there was no mention of grass and hay falling to the sky. That’s exactly what happened when Cheltenham residents reported clumps of hay swirling in the sky and landing on cars, houses and even people.

According to one witness account:

 “I looked up and I could see all this hay. There was no wind, so I assume it was something to do with thermals. It was swirling around anti-clockwise and it was quite high in the sky, about the height seagulls fly at. The hay must have been picked up from a nearby field and then come down. I used to live in Spain and you have what they call ‘dust devils’ there, but I have never seen anything like this.”

Click here to watch a video of the hay rain.

The locals were baffled at the strange phenomenon, literally grasping at straws as to why it was raining hay in the middle of the day. The Met Office confirmed that they received numerous reports of raining grass and hay in other parts of UK, including Devon, Wiltshire, Mid Wales and Lancashire.

According to weather experts, despite the strangeness of the incident, raining hat is not exactly as rare as one would think. In fact, the weather organization receives countless reports of the phenomenon all over the UK. One expert even explained the likely culprit behind the “hay rain.”

“We had a couple of weeks of dry weather across much of the country and that has allowed the ground to dry and warm up, and this weather has been ideal for farmers to cut grass for hay. This grass has been lifted into the air by some means, possibly by convection, where the ground heats the air above it causing the air to rise and carrying the grass aloft, and it is then carried along by warm thermals.

A thermal is a warm bubble or plume of cloud-free air that rises from the ground as the ground is heated and cools the higher it gets. Thermals are used by birds to climb with little effort and by glider pilots to gain extra lift during a flight. Because the air eventually cools the thermal will break down and the grass will fall from the sky.”

Despite numerous witnesses reporting the incident, the Cheltenham Borough Council denies receiving any reports of raining grass in the area. The organization’s public and environmental health team leader reaffirmed the claim by saying:

 “We have not had any reports from the public about this. However, if residents have witnessed hay falling from the sky, the likely explanation is that meteorological conditions have allowed hay to be picked up by the wind in one area which is then deposited in another.”