Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Thunder Storm in the City

I love thunder storms. Right now I'm at work and the rain is pouring down. Every now and again, there's a bright flash in the sky followed by a window rattling rumble.

Thunder storms in D.C. are great. It's not a very tall city, so there's still plenty of sky to be seen, plenty of lighting strikes to be spotted.

The storm is coming from the south. (The rain is slanting to the east.) The windows in my office face north and I'm guessing all the flashes are coming from behind the building I'm in right now. A few minutes and hopefully I'll get sight of them.

I've been out in thunderstorms in the city. Wandering around, rushing from overhang to overhang, enjoying the sound of the thunder bouncing off the brick and concrete structures.

With rain like this, the gutters fill up quickly. Sometimes the water stays for hours. I've been soaked standing on a street corner, splashed by a passing vehicle. Buses are the worst.

The building I am in is more than 100 years old. The big 30 foot windows provide an excellent view of the sky, the street and the water rushing down the gutters, carrying bits of debris.

Usually at this time of day, there are people walking about the street. I've seen one in the last fifteen minutes.

Thunderstorms in the city are a different experience than thunderstorms in the country, just as thunderstorms in hilly areas are different from flat areas. In flat areas, you can see them coming. I spent a good portion of Sunday driving through hill parts of West Virginia in a thunderstorm. Once I got to a section of the road that flattened out, I could see the lightning strikes from top to bottom. In a city, it's mostly flashes, like a flash light passing over your eyes and the thunder offers it's own kind of satisfaction. Counting the seconds between the flash and the rumble. Trying to predict where the next flash will come. Keeping eyes upwards, to the clouds and crossing my fingers it's coming this way.

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