Monday, April 03, 2006

Holy thunderstorms, Batman!

Today the weather decided to wake us up out of our complacent reverie. We had what I'm told was an incredibly mild winter (no snow or ice to speak of) and spring had been coming along rather nicely. Before I went to bed last night I saw the forecast for thunderstorms, but didn't think much of it, because we had occasional thunderstorms in Southern California, and they were nothing to get your panties in a twist over. And I'd even been through a couple purported thunderstorms here. Those were mere tea parties, my darling, because this morning was the real deal.

I was awakened around 5:30 am by some thunder but it wasn't terribly loud. Then I saw some lightning and started counting. One-one-thousand, two-one-thousand, three-one-thousand, etc. I got to eight. Bigger thunder. More lightning. I could see it through my eyelids (I was still lying in bed hoping to go back to sleep). The rain started. Before I knew it, the lightning and thunder were on top of each other, and the sound was phenomenal. My rational side said there was nothing to be afraid of, but part of me was a little tail-between-the-legs because it seriously sounded like we were under attack. We're talking B-I-G B-O-O-M-S here.

I made the idiotic mistake of picking up Comet to try and comfort him, and of course a big clap came at just the right moment for him to dig his claws into my flesh. Yeah, learned that lesson quick.

I'd say the peak of the storm lasted no more than 10 minutes, but what a thrilling 10 minutes it was. My heart was pounding and the adrenaline was pumping and I had this giddy grin on my face every time I saw the electricity illuminate the sky because I knew a big boom was soon to follow. I attempted to record the sound by taking a video with my camera but it of course does the roaring and cracking no justice.

When I got to work this morning, the weather was the talk of the office. Then around 9:50 it started to get dark. Not just cloud-passing-in-front-of-the-sun dark, but pitch freakin' black. Seriously, it was like night outside. Street lights came on. Freak-ee. It proceeded to rain and there was more thunder and lightning, but nothing like this morning. The darkness was the coolest part of that leg of the storm. Oh, and watching it progress on radar. I love the web! I took this screen shot so I could show you what it looked like:

Fierce, huh? (To see this map with indicators of where I live and work, click here. Mouse over the white boxes to see my notes. How cool is Flickr??!) I mean, it was no hurricane, and the rains weren't even torrential, but for a So Cal girl, this is the closest thing to real weather that I've experienced. I'm told the summer thunderstorms can be even worse, so we'll have to see. Oh, and did I mention that we're under a tornado watch tonight until midnight? Cut to evil villain cackling, "You wanted dramatic weather, you got it!"

It was warm here this weekend, and by that I mean in the low 80's. I have savored the scent of the earth thawing. The bugs seem to like it too. They were out in force (although it's probably just the scouting contingent) at my parents' house in Pittsboro. Lots of moths and beetles, as well as some other big icky things I can't identify. The cicadas have decided to start serenading us with their oh-so-pleasing constant buzz. And the birds are still chirping at all hours. The thunder shut them up for a while, but soon they were right back at it. I must admit, though, that when I go out onto my screened porch to have a gander, it's delightful to see several different species instead of the same two that we had back in CA: brown and black.

One lamentable result of the storm: the tree in front of my building, which had lavished us with its gorgeous white blooms for the past couple of weeks was stripped of all the petals during the wind and rain. What's left are the budding green leaves, which although not as glorious, are still a welcome sight.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I do love thunderstorms! Especially first thing in the morning. There's something so enervating about them. Pity about the trees, though. They're just starting to bloom here, too, and looking lovely.