A-m (umopapisdn) wrote,

This is exactly what rain here can be like:

A rain storm in this country is a typical tropical storm, of of nature's spectacles, a phenomenon packed with grandeur and splendour, displaying an incomparable depth of beauty, strength and power which only nature can wield.You sense it, you smell it, you hear it and you see it as it builds up beyond the horizon.

Approaching from the south, the high cirrus clouds, like heralds, come spreading across a bright, bare, blue afternoon sky, in thin wispy strands. They move slowly, north-westerly bound. They spread so thinly that they leave lovely zebra-like, bright stripes behind them through which the bright sun sends its hot rays, creating a magnificent halo around itself. A gentle breeze follows, almost immediately, soothing and cooling, blowing across so gently that it finds it almost difficult to life the small fluffy feathers it meets on its way and blow them away along its course. The leaves hardly seem to quiver as the breeze sweeps through the branches.

Soon your find yourself watching the leaves as they quiver and then start to shake as the breeze gives way to a stronger wind. The wispy cirrus clouds give way to more ragged patches of stratus, moving across the sky, dragging behind them their flat and uniform bases. They move fast, racing against each other, picking up masses and masses of moisture which gives them an amorphous appearance as they keep changing their shapes, faster than amoebas.

The winds grow stronger, much stronger, urging on the clouds in their race until they engulf the sun, forcing it into submission and throwing a dark grey sheet over the earth. The trees sway dangerously as the wind rocks them, the impact and tremor reaching deep down to their very roots. The branches lash and whistle in protest as the wind whirls and whips through them with a strong hissing sound, stripping them of their leaves and blowing the latter hundreds of yards away; the small twigs sing, crack and zip through the air like rockets as the are wrenched off the branches.

The is much activity everywhere. The birds take to wing, ahead of the coulds, while other earthly creatures scamper, scuffle and scatter in all directions in search of shelter from the impending holocaust[...]You can sniff the air, and smell the sweet aroma of the sun-baked dust as it lifts and blows, while small puffs of low cirrocumulus, with almost visible super-cooled rain droplets, sweep across the sky, in a rippled pattern, leaving a mackerel grey sky behind.

Now you can hear it. The humming drone grows louder until it becomes the roaring sound of a million bee-hives as it approaches, following the puffy, widely-spread dark grey cumulus clouds. A creation of the rising air currents over that vast expanse of inland waters which make up the gigantic lake, Victoria, the cumulus clouds loom across the sky with a billowy appearance, growing into huge towers before your very eyes. They fill the whole of the sky with monstrous, cathedral-like domes which pop open and, for a while, turn the skies into a vast field of cauliflower. Each tuft of the cauliflower carries gallons and gallons of water, well-suspended in the sky by the warm air currents and growing bigger and bigger, giving the clouds the appearance of an army of pregnant women.

In the end the come, bulging and looming out of the horizon, building up into fearsome and monstrous dark grey, puffy objects with brilliant white tops. The mountainous, anvil-shaped, cumulonimbus clouds get darker and darker as they rise with the updrift, spreading their rough and rugged blanket over the earth while their thunderheads charge with an aura of menace, like a whole battalion of military tanks carrying nuclear warheads, ready to fire.

Then one of them fires: a highly overcharged electric thunder-bolt which leaves a brilliant blue streak of light behind as it splits the atmosphere with a crack and velocity greater than that of a million-kilo aerial bomb. It shatters the air particles on its way as it strikes with the devastating explosive force of a volcano, whose vicious rumblings can be heard miles away. The doors tremble, the walls shake and the whole ground vibrates.

Even before the rumblings dies away, a rain droplet, big enough to fill a teacup, drops and splatters to announce the impending storm. It is followed by continuous drops of the same size, as the pregnant clouds over-grow their capacity and become over-laden. With more thunderheads releasing their fury, the clouds release their contents in the form of masses and masses of water, rolling out of the sky, in sheets and sheets like miles and miles of rolled cotton-yarn. Visibility closes down to zero[...]For two hours or more the wind rages and millions and millions of buckets of water pour out of the heavens to fill up every hole and crack, saturating every unprotected piece of ground. Finally the water runs off the surface, in runnels, in rivulets, gullies and gutters, down the valleys, where it turns streams into roaring rivers as the water is carried back to the lake again, ready to be heated and rise once more.

It has been storming every day now for three days. I am so glad to see rain. I hope the drought has ended. Yesterday morning if one was to drive through any of the local villages you'd find nary a soul remaining, all were in the fields cultivating. There will still be widespread famine, but if the rain continues, and what they can plant now yields a fair harvest, there will be an end in sight.
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