It’s raining tonight at the beach. The kind of thunderstorm that marches across the Florida peninsula from the west, and bringing much needed rain to the the coast.
I’ve always loved thunderstorms. I don’t know why. There’s something about the power of the storms that is just awe inspiring, and yet calming in some way. Maybe it’s the quiet after the storm. As the storm rages, there is great sturm und drang. Often, a lull will be followed by another big cell lumbering over the horizon. Rain will come down in sheets, often blown sideways by the wind … and then, it moves off into the distance. The storms fade away and leave a fresh, ozone laden scent from the electrical activity of the storm. Calm following the tempest.
I’ve experienced thunderstorms at sea, on a small boat in the Chesapeake Bay, in the high plains and Rocky Mountains. One of life’s satisfying accomplishments is camping out in a thunderstorm, dry and snug in a tent while the storm rages. And yes, that’s possible. On the deck of a small boat, shortening sail as the wind blows stronger, you learn more about yourself and your abilities and build confidence. And as the water calms and the storm passes, the senses of relief and accomplishment combine into something unique.
Tonight’s storm is really just a gentle rain. We were at a wedding reception this afternoon when the temperature dropped noticeably. Up in the penthouse bar at Casa Marina, the air temperature in the fresh southwesterly breeze dropped 15 degrees in a few seconds. The storm followed a few hours later. Living at the beach, tropical storms can sometimes drop inches of rain in an hour, but tonight, just a steady rain, and an occasional flash of lightning and grumble of thunder. And the cool, fresh air has already moved in.
We needed the rain. The weather service indicated we’re 4-5 inches below normal for the year already. Of course, that’s measured at the airport, and I have no idea if it’s raining out there.
But here at the beach … it should be an excellent night for sleeping.