PUBLISHED: 17:51 EST, 18 July 2012 | UPDATED: 18:30 EST, 18 July 2012
As pedestrians took cover, meteorologists looked for explanations.
‘It went out with a bang,’ National Weather Service meteorologist Joey Pica said of the triple-digit heat that suffocated the city for the past three days.
While those on the ground watched in disbelief as a sunny day turned into a hailstorm with inch-wide ice chunks hurling down from the sky, the best view was from above.
Instagram and Twitter quickly filled with images of the storm from people flying around the city at the time of the late-afternoon storm.
Arguably the best image comes from former NFL player Dhani Jones, who captured a moment when all of the precipitation of the city swirled in one frightful column, harkening something out of a villainous fantasy film.
At the time, Jones was flying out of LaGuardia airport, which is in Queens, and was able to see over Queens and into part of Manhattan.
Hitting the skyscrappers: The Citibank Building (left) and the Bloomberg Building (right) were both hit by lightening during the afternoon storm
The true warning came at 3.38pm when AccuWeather.com issued a severe thunderstorm watch and flood advisory for New York City and nearby Long Island City.
At that time, the temperature had reached 94 degrees, which was down from the triple-digit highs reached during the past three days.
To get the word out the the more than 8million people who live and work in Manhattan’s five boroughs, city government officials used the mobile phone emergency warning system for the first time since the program was started in May of last year.
Though the bulk of the storms were finished by about 6pm, the repercussions will likely be felt into the evening as flash floods caused transit and road delays.
There was also reports of fallen trees in the suburbs in Westchester and New Jersey which caused damage, though the extent of the destruction is not clear.
NBC News reports that thousands lost power in New York and one injury is being linked to the storm but no details have been released about the nature of that injury or the identity of the victim.
While the majority of the storm may have passed the Big Apple, the National Weather Service has now issued a severe weather warning for Washington D.C., predicting that the capital will be hit by hail up to 1.5-inch in diameter and winds of up to 70 miles per hour to come by 9pm.