Thursday, July 23, 2009

Rainy Season

The picture from the National Hurricane Center yesterday showed two areas of disturbed weather, neither of which promises to develop into a tropical cyclone as they merged into one big blob. Therein lies some good news as we get into the meaty part of hurricane season in the South Atlantic, Western Caribbean and Gulf Of Mexico. However, for two wheeled riders this week, Key West was a moderately unfriendly environment as streets flooded and cars became wave making machines on city streets:It so happened I was in Key West ferrying my wife around and I got to point and shoot from the comfort of the interior of my Nissan, and I have to admit the thought did cross my mind that it was nice not to be out and about on the Bonneville:Hard core BMW riders take their lumps, with a foul weather jacket, a helmet (of course) and bare legs and shoes to limit their exposure to the weather. I suppose this is what he has been waiting for with his go-anywhere GS: The rain came down suddenly around lunchtime and by the time we pushed our empty coffee cups away the streets were still being pounded and the storm drains had given up trying to move the water out of the streets. I have sat on my motorcycle in enough downpours to know that sitting and waiting can be the worst part, which was what I imagined this guy was thinking as he waited for cars to move along on Eaton Street:
And when they did move they created more waves such was the depth of the water. This is rainy season, though I haven't seen a decent down pour at Mile Marker 27 in ages. The rain has battered neighboring Summerland Key, and Big Pine Key but my island has been spared these scenes all of which I shot in Key West: It's actually rather annoying as my vegetable beds, holding on grimly through the heat of summer could use some rain, not to mention the fully grown palm trees and other shrubbery around my house...We drive home from key West in this appalling down pour and found ourselves barely able to see the traffic through the rain we had high hopes that ramrod key would be showered and fresh and wet. No such luck. It was like the gods were making rude faces at us and the rain petered out as we drive through Summerland key, still wet from recent rain. By the time we were on the bridge separating Summerland from Ramrod the rain was gone, the asphalt was dry and our hopes for rain at home were shriveled up.
They tell us this hurricane season should be lighter than usual, whatever that means, but all it takes is one direct hit and that makes for a rotten hurricane season for you. Nevertheless the wild guess/estimate of a light season is curiously heartening. "Phew! No storms this year, for the third year in a row!" I say to myself as though predictions were reality... And then suddenly a yellow shaded area appears in the Caribbean Basin and the reality of hurricane season is upon us, from now till November 30th. And the more immediate reality of summer thunderstorms, summer winds and summer rains. I want the rain, not the hurricanes.