Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Heat Wave and Monsoon Season

At about this time last year, if someone had asked me what came to mind when I thought of Colorado, I would have said, "Mountains and snow". Never would I have thought "excessive heat and monsoon rains" but during the last 2 weeks, that's exactly what we have gotten.

The news stations call it "Monsoon Season". Before now, I've only associated monsoon weather with coastal regions...and we are definitely NOT coastal here. High daytime temperatures cause clouds to build up resulting in heavy downpours. Parts of Denver have been flooded from storm drains unable to handle the large amounts of water in such a short period of time. And it's not just rain. These cells have been producing severe lightening and hail as well.

I've been hearing (again, from the news) the storms are normal for this time of year but the hail is not. Good thing because for about 10 days, some "lucky" part of the state has received hail - sometimes as large as hen eggs and even baseballs. We've been lucky to only see marble sized hail since we've lived here.

July 14, 2011 - Lightning strike in Aurora, Colorado
It's just amazing how frequently the lightning would strike, enabling so many people to get photos and video of them.

Like many rain showers, the best thing about all these storms is the way they cool the air. With temps reaching the mid nineties (even without the humidity we were used to in NC) and the sun as intense as it seems to be (severe sunburn when it's 70 degrees), it gets downright HOT! Especially in a home that has no air conditioning (and there are plenty of homes here that have no air conditioning).

Normally, we just open the windows and let the breeze come in. But if there's no breeze, conditions inside the house are miserable. Then when the rain starts coming down as heavily as it has been, the windows have to be closed so you don't get a flood inside the house. But once the rains have passed, the windows get thrown open and the cooler air (sometimes 30 degrees cooler) can rush on in.

We've experienced a comfortable fall, a mild Colorado winter, the non-existence of spring, and the summertime heat and storms.

One of Mr. LH's co-workers asked me in May how I liked Colorado. That was when the daytime temperatures would be anywhere from the 40's to the mid 70's with nighttime temps sometimes dipping below freezing. I replied, "I love it. I'm just waiting for it to be consistently warm," to which he answered that once it was consistently warm, I would be waiting anxiously for winter again. With the forecast for the coming week showing high near 100 degrees, I'd have to say he was right.

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