Glorious The Thunder’s Roar

Late October and the evening is closing in earlier today. Then a rumble of thunder and the rain suddenly increases its intensity. Surprised, I pull the curtains to watch for lightning. Surprised as I’m not used to seeing storms this late in the year: I’ve always associated them with summer days. After several increasingly sultry days, a storm arrives and breaks the humidity with a refreshing roar, leaving the air cool and sweet.

Thunderstorms have always fascinated me. A truly awesome spectacle. One of my earliest memories is opening the curtain and watching a storm in the wee small hours. It seems counter-intuitive that a cloud, made up of water droplets, could produce such fierce electrical displays. Today’s storm is not particularly impressive. The thunder occasional and what lightning there is confined within the cloud. It’s been a long time since I saw the sharp jags of forks arcing into the ground, the brief flickering brilliance hotter than the surface of the sun and packing a million volt punch. Followed by long, cracking booming rolls of thunder that make your ribs vibrate. And the rain. Thunderstorm rain has to be seen to be believed. So intense, it’s like looking into a deep waterfall, and within seconds, the gutters are half metre wide torrents flowing so fast the water passes over rather than into the drains, and the rain bounces as high into the air. I recall one such storm about twenty years ago. There had been several hot and sticky days and the storm came as a relief. Dressed only in shorts and T shirt, I went into the yard and stood in the rain, more pleasant than any shower or bath.

No chance of that happening today, and the storm has passed in the time it’s taken to write this. Only a small storm, but no less welcome. They still fascinate me, and I’m glad of that.

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