Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Finally Some Rain

There aren’t many good lightning storms here in Samoa. If there is lightning, most of it is cloud to cloud, all you get is some rumbling. There is very little of the make you jump out of your knickers lightning which I find fun to watch.

Of course there is always an exception to this. I remember back in February I think it was: I was sitting on the porch of the fale palagi my host family owned writing in my journal. It had been a rainy day with some distant rumbling. The 2 girls were hassling me as usual, asking all kinds of questions. All of the sudden a flash and a loud crack! The girls went running inside to the safety of their mom’s embrace. I have never seen them so scared. The lightning was really close; it seemed to hit the house next door. They kind of reminded me of the sheltie (Lily) my family had. Every time there was a storm she would run to my mom. If Mom was in the study, Lily would be under the desk cowering at Mom’s feet. Or if Mom was relaxing on her reclining chair, Lily would be up in the chair too, as far back and pressed as hard against my mom as she could possibly get. Many times my mom had to stop doing what she was doing just to sit with the scared dog we had. Poor pup.

I grew up in the Midwest (St. Louis) which is in the region of the US known as Tornado Alley due to the massive amounts of tornados those states get, moved to Huntsville, AL which according to one statistic is the 5th most dangerous city for frequency of long track F3-F5 tornados, and then went to college in Florida and when you think Florida, think thunderstorms and hurricanes (along with sunshine, Disneyworld, oranges, beaches, and key lime pie if in Key West of course). I have many memories of tornado drills in school where we went out to the hallway and curled up into a ball with our hands over our necks and noses to the ground or crouching in the closet under the stairs while at home or hurricane parties and waiting out the hurricanes with my cousins in Florida. I’ve lived in places which get good storms so I guess I enjoy watching the raw force of nature.

We had heat lightning in the clouds during the soccer games on Saturday. The games continued through the flashes going on above. I found this a little odd that flashes of death were going on above and we were still allowed to have a full set of games. I guess this stems from Florida which gets heat lightning all the time and I have many memories of being at soccer practice or a game and seeing our athletic trainers holding a lightning meter, measuring how far away the lightning was from the field. If the lightning was within a certain mileage (I think 3-5 miles), we had to go inside until ½ hour after the last lightning strike was measured to be with in that mileage. But that is Florida, the lightning capital of the US.

Monday night we had a pretty good lightning storm. There were lots of flashes, but only rumbling, very few real cracks of thunder. Tuesday was a very wet day. The weather has been very dry the past few weeks and the islands were in desperate need of some rain. The soccer fields are looking brown and the water levels in rivers are low. As the rain came down yesterday, I thought I might need a canoe to run my errands in town as rivers were sprouting up where the water was running off. Luckily by the time the afternoon rolled around, the heavy rain was done and all that was left were sprinkles of drizzly rain.

Today is looking better, cloudy, but still plenty of sunshine.

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