We have been under a “Heat Advisory” here for the last few days, and yesterday afternoon I checked the weather forecast just before going out to collect my wife from work. The forecast was for a high of 86 and the chance of “a stray thunderstorm”. There had been a few clouds overhead all afternoon, but mostly it had been a sunny day, and so I wasn’t really concerned about the possibilities of thunder.
As I drew into the parking lot the clouds were gathering overhead, I heard a slight rumble of thunder in the distance, and it started to rain a bit. I parked outside the door of my wife’s office, and, as I was 5 minutes early, I turned on the weather radar we have in the car, but it didn’t show anything much in our area, just a few storms a long way south of us.
In just a few minutes the clouds got really dark and the rain came down in torrents – my windscreen wipers were fighting a losing battle against the rain even on their faster setting.
And then the thunder and lightning started.
I’d always been taught that you could tell the distance of a storm by counting the time between seeing the lightning and hearing the thunder – well it was about a count of one!
Then the wind started. The car was being rocked by the wind so badly, that I was wondering if I was safe to stay there. Only the thought of having to brave the outside elements unprotected made me stay in the dry car.
For 15 minutes I watched the roadways fill up with water, and people started milling around in the office doorway, not willing to brave the storm. As it happened my wife was late leaving, and the wind and thunder had eased off by the time she got to the door, but it was still raining hard.
The road under the railway bridge on the way home was flooded, and I had to take an alternative route, which entailed turning across traffic at a junction where the lights were out. As I drove the 2 miles home, the ground slowly got dryer and dryer, until back at our house, they had only had a light sprinkling of rain, and were wondering what the fuss was all about.
But at least I know know what a Stray Thunderstorm is like!!