Saturday, July 31, 2010

Rainy Season in the Desert

How bad could it possibly be, right? Desert rain storm seems like an oxymoron, does it not? In fact, during our first two weeks here, all of which were during rainy season, we had a few drizzles here. Granted, there would be a heavy storm somewhere else in or around Hermosillo, but a few pop-up showers that effect a small area didn't seem like much of a rainy season. Well, then the storms came in full force.

We had planned on going to the beach today (about an hour west of here), but after two days of torrential, non-stop rain and a gloomy forecast, we nixed that idea. After all, it isn't like we can't go some other time, and being stuck in Hermosillo during a rain storm is one thing. But being stuck on the beach during a storm is entirely too depressing.

On Thursday, the rain started around 3 p.m.ish, and it was the most intense storm the city had seen in almost a decade.

That is our backyard taking a beating to the point it was a couple of inches under water. It uprooted one of our tiki torches. A while later, I looked in the backyard again, and it had started to float away. Not that it could have gotten too far in our prison, but I put on some flipflops and started after it, about ankle deep. In hindsight, that was a very bad idea considering all of the lightning and iron-rod gates in our yard. That could have been an embarrassing death notice - struck down by lightning while in ankle deep water retrieving a 60-peso (about $5) tiki torch. It probably would have secured a place on Spike's 1,000 Ways To Die.

Some of the thunder that accompanied the storm shook the house causing Tiffy to cower at feet under the desk. Usually, she barks at thunder and whimpers a little, but I guess these cracks were a little too intimidating to elicit much of a response other than genuine trepidation.

This city was not really built to withstand such storms. Apparently there is no underground sewer system, so the water just fills the streets causing several high-water situations. So bad, in fact, several Consulate employees (my wife included) hung out in the office past 6 p.m. to wait for the water levels to dip to a point that one of the SUV owners could take everyone home. Our car stayed by the Consulate that night.

It stopped raining eventually that night, but we woke up to more rainfall. It started off not terribly bad, but then picked up to a steady down pour that continued for about five or six hours. Fortunately it fell just slow enough to avoid all of the flooding issues.

As I mentally prepared for moving to Hermosillo, I was ready for intense heat. People here know how to handle heat. They just stay in doors. But epic thunderstorms was something that caught me a little off guard. I'm surprised to say that I think I actually prefer the devastating heat to the rain. At least there is somewhat of an option to leave the house during the heat. Sure, the temperature drops dramatically, but these rain storms truly leave you feeling sequestered.

This is the view of our flooded street from our garage door, which sometimes I have to open during the heavy rain to let the water out.


  1. Living in CR has helped me appreciate the rain. We have had a couple of these storms though. The thunder scares my boys.

  2. oh, wow. intense rain storms with nowhere for the water to go stress me out. stay safe.

  3. Oh, you mean you couldn't use your built-in BBQ for two whole days due to rain? boo hoo