Sunday, July 15, 2007
Make a Little Blessing, the Monsoon has Come!
The afternoon clouds and evening thunderstorms we have been getting are due to "strong daytime heating, monsoonal moisture and orographic uplift" over the southern and central mountain chains. (From Weatherbug Meteorologist Adam Bell). "Orographic uplift" is earth science speak for the heated mountains lofting up the moist monsoonal flow from the south.
The monsoons are here. This is good news because, although our moist spring and early summer dampened the fire season earlier in the summer, our fire danger had been very high lately.
We are not out of the woods, yet, however, as the thunderstorms do produce lighting, which can start fires unless the rain follows. So far, we have been getting local thundershowers with reasonable rain under them, rather than the frontal monsoons we got last year. However, last year was a record monsoon--the most moisture since records have been kept. We cannot expect that again.
What we are hoping to see, though, is a normal monsoon, which will deepen into August, with local thundershowers bringing moisture every few days to an area.
Last week, when MLC and I took the dogs for their evening walk, we were happy to see the clouds gathering over Shadow Mountain Valley. It felt kind of "sticky"--although nothing like what they get in the midwest--and so the breeze on top of Via Sedillo ridge felt really good.
We were sweating as we descended into the Valley, and when we climbed back up, we were rewarded with a little shower right over the ridge. It felt cool and refreshing!
We even saw a rainbow--though I didn't have a got shot for a picture!
As I sang the rainbow blessing, I was struck by the thought that the blessing, which reminds us that the Eternal is faithful to the covenant with all the earth, is as much about not destroying the earth by drought (lack of water) as it is by deluge.
At least, that is how it seems to me, living, as I do, in desert mountains.
In English, the blessing goes something like this:
"Blessed are you, Eternal, our G-d, ruler of the universe,
who remembers the covenant and is faithful to the covenant and keeps his word (with all the living)."
The monsoons also provide a wonderful show in the sky. The clouds formed by the "orographic lifting" of moisture, tend to form in the afternoon. So the sunsets become spectactular, golden, red and orange light on purple and pink and gold clouds.
How pleasant it is to go out on the porch during the long summer twilight, and cooled by the breezes produced by the monsoonal flow, enjoy the beautiful sunsets.
Each part of the season has it's own particular beauty. In June, I enjoy the cool mornings.
In July, I enjoy the evenings, brought to us in technicolor by the North American monsoon.