Sunday, August 31, 2014
Downpour in South Texas - finally!
Roger here... The title of this post is not something that would draw most people in. I can hear your thoughts. Oh yeah, like I want to devote any of my precious time to look at pictures of rain.
If you live down here, you will understand. Perhaps a little set up is required.
The day before the splash down we were experiencing one of our ongoing 100 degree days. A gust of wind (not uncommon) tipped over a can of insect repellent that was sitting on the oil cloth that was covering our outdoor bar. No big deal.
Later in the day I picked up the can. Oops. Looks like the oil cloth melted underneath the off. Guess we won't set anything on the bar for a while. A rain storm might cool things off so crap won't melt on the bar. A rain storm might give me a break in the required daily watering of the potted plants. A rain storm would be a diversion from the non-changing weather. Bring it on.
All the weather channels said there is a 70 percent chance of rain. Promising. A fifty percent chance means that the clouds split just before they get to us, depositing moisture on both sides, but not on us. A 60 percent chance means that we might enjoy a 6-inch rain (six inches between each drop on the pavement that is measurable before it evaporates). But a 70 percent chance! Now that is somethun!
I am going outside with my my radar-equipped cell phone to watch for the impending storm. Good news: yellow, orange and even red blotches are moving toward us on the map.
Oh no, it looks like the front is curving and will miss us, again. The radar says we are in a blue area and should be getting rain, but we are not. Clouds are everywhere, but it is not raining. I should probably get the hose out for the daily watering of the potted plants.
Wait! What is this? Water droplets are coming down that actually cover the concrete before evaporating. It truly is raining.
Dianne came out to join me under our covered porch area. Yes, it has come to this, we are actually having fun just watching it rain.
The wind is blowing and the rain is coming down in sheets. The rain is exploding onto the deck with such force that we can see the water splashing upward in cylinder shapes that rise a couple of inches from the surface.
Ok, that is thunder. AND that is lightning ---very close lightning. Dianne asks, "Do you think it is safe?" I reply, "You do realize we are sitting on metal chairs." We go inside.
I walk to the front of the casita and take this picture of the street through the bedroom window. Lots of water and mud is flowing down the street and into the oversized storm drains.
I walk into the bathroom and find my dog, Bandido, hiding behind the toilet. He is shivering with fear. Poor baby.
He hates thunder. He also hates July 4th.
Tequila hears me comforting Bandido and runs straight to the bathroom. "Hey! What about me? I don't like the thunder either. You always liked Bandido best!"
Don't think for a minute that Dianne was not lovin' on the dogs, too.
After 2.5 to 3 inches of rain, the storm clouds move on. The thunder continues to sound for another hour. It is a constant boom, much like that of a long freight train --- nonstop without gaps.
The ominous clouds drift to the west.
Dianne and I venture out to check out the puddles and the clouds.
We notice that the underground irrigation hose from our underground watering system is no longer underground. I see a trip to get more mulch in the future.
Now that the storm has passed, the light outside is amazing. Parts of the sky are still black, while the sun is shining through in other places. The sunlight that streams to the ground seems more intense than usual. Lots of bright colors and dark shadows.
Our pepper plant got a good drink. The small purple (and hot) peppers seem to pop in this strange light.
Bandido ventures outside to enjoy the sunshine when the thunder finally subsides. The temperature has dropped to 76 degrees.
The empty space to the east of us takes on a mysterious aura --- black sky, bright trees and ground.
There should be a rainbow with this kind of sky.
And there is.
The rainbow begs for multiple photos.
What a beauty.
The sky continues to put on a show as the sun sets.
I go inside and take one last picture before retiring to a good book. The reflection through the window shows the images, both inside and outside.
The night passes. We awaken to temperature forecasts that are 10 degrees lower than what we have been experiencing.
Rain is forecast for this day after the storm, but there is only a 60 percent chance which means sprinkles. Sprinkles of rain are all we get, but we do get something else. What a spectacular sunset!
Another night has passed and it is now two days since the storm. Life has returned to normal. It is time to swim some laps, read my book, walk the dogs, and find some mulch.