September 7, 2013

So here’s how it works here in the Valley of the Sun during monsoon season. I’m finishing up work on a Friday afternoon about 4:30 PM when I notice it’s gotten darker outside than it usually is at this time. I walk out to the back patio and see some ominous dark gray clouds off to the southeast and to the southwest. Once again the pool vacuum is stuck in the corner, so I say a swear word or two and shake it out of its lethargy. I’m about to walk inside when a rumble of thunder comes from a particularly dark cloud directly above me. I go inside and link to the Accuweather website, which tells me there’s a severe thunderstorm warning for an area far to our south and west, and a dust storm warning for south central Maricopa County, where we live.

I check the Accuweather radar and see there’s some rain to our southeast, but nothing really to speak of – a combination of light and dark greens, probably moisture that’s not even hitting the ground. I head back out to the back patio and walk around a bit, checking the skies. There are lots of clouds of various shades of gray and gray-brown gathering, but nothing that looks really threatening to me. I see the pool vacuum is once again stuck, so I utter a couple of swear words again and pick it up and toss it away from the corner. (This is something that definitely needs to be looked at this weekend.) Off to the west the sky is the color of a Kraft’s caramel shimmering in the late afternoon sun. I can smell and taste the dust, but the dust storm and all the action seems to be moving off to our west. Good. I head back inside.

About ten minutes later, I’m finishing up some e-mails when all of a sudden I hear a massive WHOOSH hit the house from the south, and I see the lime and lemon trees outside my office window being shook to their very roots. “What the #$@!!”, I yell to myself, and before I know it the window is being pelted by huge raindrops which, in the space of ten seconds, turns into a deluge. It’s raining so hard I can’t even see the lime tree, which is no more than eight feet from the edge of my desk. I rush out to the French doors that open to the back patio and see a wall of water pouring down from the skies. The swimming pool is positively alive with water and waves flailing around in every direction, and the wind chimes are clanging loudly in the wind-whipped torrent coming from above.

I immediately have a bad feeling about that nice new hardy sprout one of my queen palms had worked so hard to produce over the last month. Did it survive that atomic blast? The suspense is killing me, so even though it’s raining so hard I can barely see my neighbor’s roof I head outside. I’m soaked in a second’s time, but the rain is warm and not a little bit dusty. I look at the top of the queen palm and sure enough, the new sprout hangs lifelessly off to the side. “Son of a bitch!” I yell, as a sharp peal of thunder cracks above to my right. I look a little more closely. The good news is, I didn’t realize the now-limp branch-to-be was hiding a whole crown of new sprouts which are small enough to be able to survive whatever else this monsoon season tosses at it. Of course, by this time I’m not just soaked to the skin, but a lightning strike right on top of me sends me scurrying inside, dripping like a big rat.

Ten minutes later, the storm has passed. The back and side yards have been turned into lakes, the pool is a cloudy gray-blue and covered with small yellow leaves from my neighbor’s tree, and there’s blue sky heading towards me quick from the southeast. The sky to the north and west is a foreboding black, and thunder rumbles angrily in the distance. I’m thinking the roofing guys had better have fixed my sister-in-law’s roof good and tight, because that same deluge is heading her way.

I check the Accuweather website again and I see a severe thunderstorm warning has just been issued for the East Valley, including Gilbert. Thanks for the heads up, guys.

Such is life during monsoon season here in the Valley of the Sun. We’ll take whatever rain we can get here, even if when it comes as fast and furious as today’s deluge did. Hopefully there’s more on the way this weekend.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 02:24 | Comments Off on Monsoony
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