We just had a little storm blow up over the beach, and I’m sitting on the screen-porch … laptop safely unplugged from anything … listening to the rain fall on the roof. There’s an occasional flash of light and a little grumble of thunder, but for the most part, just the soft sound of the rain. About half the windows are open, but the ones immediately behind me in the corner are closed. Just a good, gentle soaking for the grass I mowed yesterday, and all the plants in the yard.
These kinds of storms are pretty common this time of the year. It had been really hot and humid this afternoon. I rode my bike 20 miles today, and was pretty well soaked by the time I was finished. It’s that kind of weather, a warm, unstable air mass, that makes these little pop-up rumblers so common. The warm air rises, water condenses, static builds, and pretty soon there’s a little thunderstorm rolling across the region.
We watched it come up as we had dinner. I bought a big ribeye steak on sale at Publix this afternoon for a little over $9. One big steak that was plenty for both of us. About 2″ thick, nicely marbled. And of course, it went on the grill to about 140 degrees. We sat outside on the deck for dinner, and watched the dark clouds roll in. Then the puffs of cool air, and the flickers of lightening, and the distant rumbles of thunder, and then a drop of rain. Then two, and time to head in. Fortunately we’d both finished dinner by then.
Radar is showing the cell is mostly offshore, and racing from north to south. The entire area is under a severe thunderstorm watch until late tonight … so it may be only the beginning. But I can’t see anything coming behind it right now.
It’s nothing like the nights we had tropical storms a couple of years back. We’d just had this sunroom put on the back of the house that year, and we could stand back here and watch the rain blowing horizontally in the streetlights. The wind was up about 50-55 miles per hours sustained, with occasional gusts up to hurricane force. Occasionally, there would be a blue flash as the wind blew the rain into the transformers and shorted them out. Beaches Energy did a great job that night. Our power was out for about 8 hours, all told. There were people inland (including my boss) who were without power for 8 – 9 DAYS. Out here, the crews knew exactly how to respond to the weather. Florida Power and Light did as well, but my boss, unfortunately, was in an area that was a pretty low priority. Not much you can do about that.
The only damage we had was a few fence panels came loose from their posts. It was pretty easy to repair. But it was also shortly after that season of 3 consecutive hurricane threats that we had the pine trees removed from the back yard. Better to take them out than to wait for one to fall on the house. And now grass will grow.
I do love sitting out here when it rains. It’s cool, the air is clean, it’s quiet, and there’s a small pool of light, just enough for me to see the keyboard and the screen. I love the beach when it’s sunny and warm. Going to the beach to cast for whiting in the surf, or just soak up the rays of the sun. But the true beach denizen loves this as well. The rain, the storms, even the occasional tropical storm are all part of living at the beach. The big hurricanes are part of it too, but no one but the weather guys seem to thrive on those. I hope I never get on an airplane and walk past Jim Cantori going the same place I am.
And in just the time it’s taken me to write this post … the storm has passed. Racing on the the south, it may be raining in St. Augustine by now. Or it may miss them completely and pull completely out onto the ocean. Nothing coming up behind it yet, but it’s still fairly early. I hope it rains all night.