summer storms

We had a huge dust storm yesterday here in Phoenix-land. It was phenomenal. I took my dog out for a walk and it was light, with a wall of dark in the distance. There was an eerie stillness, like what I remember tornado-weather was in my childhood. My dog and I went inside, I got his leash off and went to the window. In those few minutes it took me to do those simple tasks, the sky had gone black with storm and the wind was whipping through the trees. As I sat in my apartment with a candle lit and flashlight next to me, I learned from local friends that this natural chaos is a “haboob” (which is not only an intense storm, but also a fun word to say!)

Yesterday’s haboob was a wall of dust, 5000 feet tall and 50 miles wide.

I love big, passionate weather. We have some intense weather here, but it happens so infrequently, we mostly forget about the storms.

In the Midwest there are storms aplenty. Tornado weather with the ominous calm-before-the-storm asparagus green skies always frightened me. I loved the fall rains and the winter ice storms that left glittering layers of ice encasing every leafless tree branch. But my favorites were the hot summer night thunder and lightning storms.

My grandparent’s house, where I grew up, had a large back porch with the roof overhanging almost the whole thing. We would sit up there in lounge chairs during thunderstorms and watch the lightning show, count the thunderclaps to figure out how far away the storm was, and listen to the rain cascade off the roof. It was wonderful sitting outside smelling the sweet summer storm, and at the same time be mostly protected from the elements.

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