Friday, July 30, 2010

In Which It Finally Rains

We have a summer rainy season out here in the Desert Metropolis that usually starts sometime between June 24 and July 4. The actual beginning date used to be reckoned by three consecutive days of a dew point at 55% or higher. Pretty simple and straightforward, but it meant the beginning date was assigned retrospectively. It used to be a big deal: Dia de San Juan is June 24, and there's a big fiesta downtown, and the bishop blesses the River, and everybody prays or hopes for rain.

However, in the spirit of the infinite wisdom that says 'if it ain't broke, let's tinker with it anyway,' the National Weather Service and Powers That Be decided to change the beginning of the rainy season to an arbitrary date, June 15 (yea, the beginning of hurricane season, a weather phenomenon that never happens out here). Dia de San Juan seems anti-climatic now somehow.

This year, the unofficial but real, reckoned-by-dew-point, start date was July 9, but it's been a pretty dry rainy season so far. All it's done was spit at my house twice since then. And I mean spit, something like 8 drops of rain have fallen. Yes, few enough that I could count. But this morning, sometime after midnight, a real, honest-to-goodness storm hit, with thunder crashing and lightning flashing and over an inch of rain in my unofficial rain gauge. [It's a big rubber storage box sitting at the edge of my patio, and thus far away from any overhanging eaves that might funnel water into it, and in which rain depth is measured by my index finger. Kitchen science!] I sleep with my windows open, so the storm woke me up. I reached up and flipped the wooden shutters closed, and counted between flashes and crashes. One Mississippi, two Mississippi...

It's a rare treat to fall asleep in the desert listening to raindrops beat a tattoo on the roof. It was lovely.

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