August 26, 2010

The clouds had been building all afternoon to the south and to the east, and the Accuweather.com radar showed some big storms building in both directions and heading towards the west. There was a severe thunderstorm warning up for parts of the valley, including us here in Gilbert, and I could hear the wind chimes on the patio and see the lemon tree outside the bunny room window being pushed around, but the sun was still shining brightly. This warranted an investigation.

I poured myself a cold glass of Pinot Grigio and was just getting ready to head out the back door when all of a sudden there was a loud Whoosh!. The back doors (which obviously hadn’t been closed tightly) were flung open, and one of the phony palm trees held down by a bucket of stones followed through the open doors, it’s top end coming to rest inside the dining area, the stones poured out beneath it. I picked the palm tree back up and set it back in its place, and that’s when I noticed two branches from our palm trees by the pool bent down to the ground. That was quite a blow.

I walked out to the little patio area by the gas grill, pulled up a wicker chair, and sat down. It was incredibly hot and oppressive, and I could practically feel the wine warming in my hand. I couldn’t put the glass down because every surface was broiling hot, even though I was sitting in the shade of the house. The wind was really gusty, but the sun was shining brightly and there was blue sky all above me. Just as I noticed the black clouds lowering beyond my neighbor’s house to the east, I heard the first low rumble of thunder off to the northeast…

[Ed. note: is there a finer sound than the sound of thunder on a hot, late summer afternoon? Maybe, perhaps, the sound of surf on the beach, but in my mind they’re pretty damned close.]

…followed shortly thereafter by a louder and sharper rolling rumble. I couldn’t see anything because of the lemon and lime trees, so this warranted some investigating. I grabbed my Blackberry, then headed back inside and out the front door. Sure enough, we had some action coming towards us:

tstorm1

The wall of rain (showing white above the tree on the left) really wasn’t moving towards us – it was actually sliding east, but there had to have been quite a bit of dust in the air because it starting raining mud. Yuck. Fortunately, that didn’t last too long, but just after this photo was taken the wind really picked up again – not just gusts, but heavy sustained winds. The photo below doesn’t do justice to how hard the wind was blowing at the time, but I was having a difficult time keeping my balance (it was later reported that a roof was blown off of someone’s house several miles away up in Mesa). What was truly amazing was that, while all this is happening, the sun was still out full, creating a beautiful contrast with the colors of the trees and the sky:

tstorm2

Shortly after this picture was taken, it finally started to rain, this time in earnest. It came like a wave – a few drops, a dozen drops, then the deluge, and you could feel the temperature and the humidity drop as it came through. So there I am, getting soaked in the driveway, rejoicing like some crazed Indian (oops, er, native American) at how fresh and clean it all felt. The wind then started to subside, and then the rain, so I went back inside and then out the back door where you could see the rain falling like glistening sheets against the setting sun:

tstorm3

Pretty, huh? A minute later it was all over, save for a few remaining rumbles to the north and west. The pool was covered in all kinds of tree and plant debris, and our smallest palm, the one that has always struggled next to its larger and healthier neighbors, lost a critical branch that may not portend well for its future. I checked the temperature – it had dropped from 112 to 97 in just fifteen minutes – and checked my glass – it was in need of a refill – and began the arduous task of skimming the pool.

The pool was still a season-high 95 degrees when I took a dip around 10 PM, but between the wind, the humidity being sucked out of the atmosphere, the rain, and the night, 24 hours later it had dropped four degrees to 91 degrees – that’s quite a big drop in just a day. My swim tonight was in conditions almost – almost – like early “Arizona winter” – while it was still warm, there was no heat, and the patio beneath my feet was absent its typical heat as well. What a welcome change!

That’s not to say we’re done with summer by any means – we’re still going to be in the low 100s for the rest of the week – and you can bet there’s still some sizzling days to come. But for one afternoon this year’s monsoon season provided a wonderful experience where I could forget about, at least for a brief time, all my cares amidst the unmatched beauty and awesome unpredictability of God’s creation on display. Fantastic.

Pool temp: 91 degrees

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:04 | Comments (0)
No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment


goodboys.jpg


Search The Site



Recent Items

Categories

Archives
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006


Blogroll

Syndication

4 Goodboys Only

Site Info