The big blow

A real gullywasher

Weather in the desert can be capricious — sunny and bright one moment but storming fiercely the next. The other day an absolutely ferocious storm moved through in the middle of the afternoon. The winds roared and the rain came down in buckets.

patio view

I had a ringside seat from my patio where I had been sitting watching the sky cloud up. Suddenly a westerly wind came charging through driving the rain in front of it.

abandoned garden equipment

The gardeners were here doing the lawns, and they sensibly abandoned everything and ran for cover. One dashed by the front of my patio shouting something in Spanish that I didn't understand. I didn't need to. What he meant was, "Holy s  t!

Pete and Barbara's umbrella

Pete and Barbara's umbrella took flight but snagged on the eave. And a good thing, too! If it hadn't caught on the corner, that umbrella might not have touched down until Arizona. A bit later when the wind abated, an eddy turned it around and it came to ground alongside their place. Since they're gone, I retrieved it and replaced it on the patio. I wanted to lower it so it wouldn't catch the wind, but the secret to this operation eluded me.

If Paula Zahn had been describing the scene, she might well have said "the trees are almost perpendicular to the ground" (see previous story).

For more views of the storm, check out the slideshow (see sidebar).