August 30, 2010

As promised in this post, here are some pics I took from that amazing set of thunderstorms that rolled through here on Saturday.

After the first storm came through – a combination dust and thunder storm – things got really still and incredibly muggy. All I was doing was skimming the pool to get all the debris from the first storm out and I was drenched with sweat after just a few minutes. Very rare for Arizona, but very ominous as well. I started to hear thunder off to our north and east, which was kinda strange since our weather was coming from the southwest. Nevertheless, I went out front and took this shot of some pretty cool clouds…


I went back in and checked to find out there were reports of dime-sized hail in east Mesa (to our north and east). Severe thunderstorm warnings were up all around us, so I went back out front, and saw these angry-looking clouds to our northeast:


Thunder was starting to boom all around us, even to our southwest, and you just had that feeling that something big was going to come through. Just moments after this picture was taken, the usual monsoon regimen started – the wind came up out of nowhere, followed by a few big fat drops, then a dozen big fat drops, then the deluge. I could actually hear the rain and wind coming towards us, so I dashed back inside and came out through the back door to find a hurricane blasting us:


(BTW, that’s a “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” sign from Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Key West store hanging on the palm tree – pretty cool, huh?) The rain was (as you can see) falling in sheets, and we were getting sustained winds of 40 MPH with gusts probably to 60. The gusts came in waves, and I was standing by the back door getting drenched and holding one of the phony palm trees so it wouldn’t fall over and spill the rocks that held it down all over the patio like it did the other day. All of a sudden there was a big flash right above us followed immediately by a crack of thunder that sounded ten feet above my head, and then a huge blast of wind smashed through the back yard:


Between the sound of the rain, the palm branches swirling, and the wind chimes going crazy I thought I heard a loud crack but couldn’t place it (as it turned out it was a large Palo Verde tree over on the next block coming down). For a moment, I thought we’d lose one of our palm trees…

…And then, just as quickly as it had come it was gone. Like, within two minutes of the picture above being taken we went from absolute chaos to an exhausted, calm muggy dripping. No wind, just the occasional flash of lightning and dull rumble of thunder and the sound of fat drops of water dripping off the roofs. We later found out that storm caused nickel-sized hail just a few miles north of us and big pile-up on the I-10 interstate.

I let go of the palm tree, grabbed my glass of Chianti soaked in rainwater, and went back inside and out to check out the situation out front. Streams of water were cascading down the street towards the storm drains. I couldn’t believe it – no one was out, no one seemed to care about the fantastic display and the power of God’s creation we were just treated to. To the northeast, a rainbow you could see both ends of and a second one hinted at above it; unfortunately, I had no panoramic camera to show the entire arc.


By this time, sunset was upon us, and the entire street was bathed in an incredible salmon color. Our neighbor across the street came out to tell me the storm had ripped one of her large screens off a window. Above us to the west, the sky was a clear, almost phosphorescent blue; to the southeast, clouds in every pastel color imaginable, including some funky clouds in a weird sea-green I had never seen before (center of picture below, directly above our next-door neighbor’s house), all lit up in the setting sun. It was gorgeous:


Just another day in the Arizona monsoon season.

Pool temp: 86 degrees

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:53 | Comments (3)
  1. Surf’s up Dude…got the book today…I LOVE IT. Time to burn some incense, put on some surf cd’s and insert myself into the photos. All I ever wanted to be is a Surfer Girl, live at the beach, eat fish tacos and follow the Endless Summer. I hsve to get both dvd’s for my collection. All that is missing on the screened porch is a short board to add to the decor..wonder if I can find one on ebay???? What I wouldn’t give for a Rainbow board…narly. Thank you so much for the book and having it autographed…LOVE YA MAN

    Comment by Jana — August 30, 2010 @ 4:14 pm

  2. You can absolutely find a short board on eBay, but why not get one customized for yourself? Tim Bessell at Bessell Surfboards ( will be glad to create and paint a one-of-a-kind one just for you as (Sssh!) we’re going to have him do for us as soon as we get the $ together. Tracey wants a green one with a wave breaking down the middle of it. As he wrote back to us:

    “Thanks for the email. we charge $100 per foot base price. fins, color and gloss are more. i can give you a quote over the phone. 858 344 7080, 858 456 2591.

    You only live once, go for it, Dudette! Surf’s Up!

    Comment by The Great White Shank — August 30, 2010 @ 4:54 pm

  3. well maybe after I rip out the carpeting upstairs and replace it with bamboo laminate flooring…cats plus carpet equals “it’s gotta go”. And then, maybe a short board on ebay.

    Comment by Jana — August 30, 2010 @ 7:51 pm

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