Tuesday, July 10, 2018
Lively Summer Weather
When most people think of summer in Arizona, they think of blistering heat -- which is generally quite true -- and little else. What you generally have to live here to learn is that the summer is also when we get the Monsoon storms -- and we're getting a bunch of them right now. It started two days ago with a ferocious windstorm, followed by a dust-storm, followed by rain. We couldn't follow too well how the rest of the Valley of the Sun was affected because one of the first effects of the windstorm was to knock out the electric power in our neighborhood. It took the electric company nearly ten hours to get the power back on. Meanwhile, we were left padding about in the dark with the assistance of flashlights, candles, and the lights on our phones.
When the power, and the TV, came back on the next day we got an eyeful of flood reports -- yes, floods, in Phoenix! We were exceedingly grateful that we'd gotten a lot less rain out here to the west in Buckeye. ...And then we got a clear look at what the windstorm had done.
A major limb from that damned eucalyptus tree in the front yard had come down, not on either of our cars but right between them, partly blocking Rasty"s Bronco and completely blocking my little rice-burner. We've spent the last day and more breaking off the lesser branches and stuffing them in the garbage can, and dragging the stripped larger branches out of the driveway. ...And that work hasn't been easy in the returned clear sky, and therefore 105-degree heat. It's going to be a long time before I can get my car clear.
It's also a good thing that we've both recovered from that nagging case of sourceless fatigue which, I'm convinced, was caused by a low-level but persistent flu. Has anybody else out there noticed anything similar?
Anyway, half an hour's work out in that slaughtering sun is the best either of us can do at a time -- usually followed by an hour spent indoors, in the air-conditioning, with a good pint of ice-water. As you can guess, the work is going slowly. The garbage-can is full of twigs and leaves, and we'll have to drag the rest of the branches off to the scrap-wood pile in the back of the yard. Cutting up those damned branches is going to be more hot work, and the new reciprocating saw works only off batteries; that means maybe half an hour's work per couple hours' charging. Oh well, that's excuse enough for getting out of the sun.
The real giggle is that there are more storms due in tonight or tomorrow; let's hope that the power doesn't go out again. Oh well, we can always use the rain. Arizonians will forgive much in exchange for water. The floods that swept through the central valley yesterday have already sunk into the ground, the reservoirs and the cisterns, much to everyone's relief. Truth is, if it weren't for the summer Monsoon Season rains -- which come up from the Gulf of Mexico -- the state couldn't survive until the winter rainy season comes in from the Pacific. It's a gamble which set of storms tend to hit harder, but each of them provides half the water for the year hereabouts: with luck, that's a good four inches of rain in a handful of days.
Oh yes, the weather hereabouts is definitely extreme!