Friday, August 17, 2012

Hail Storm

Living in California's Sierra Nevada, most summers we don't see any precipitation from mid-May until late September. We'll get the occasional gully-washer, but the norm is four months of bone dry weather and clear blue skies.

This past Wednesday the first fat drops started plopping down at about 4:00. Since summer rain is such a rarity, it's usually kind of a treat when it does come, and it was nice to settle in at home and pick up the knitting needles. By 4:30 it started thundering and the first small hailstones fell. Soon the sound of hail was a deafening roar on the roof and decks. The storm raged on for nearly an hour, pounding our neighborhood with hail and torrential rain. When it was over there was 3 to 4 inches of hail accumulated on the ground, and piles more than 3 feet high where it poured of roofs.

Water flowed as it never has before, cutting gullies and ripping through earthen berms like they just weren't there. Our neighbor had streams flowing across his yard. Trees and other plants were laid waste. Leaves and needles were stripped from the upper portions of trees. The native bitterbrush that grows in the greenbelt behind our house is completely defoliated. And my beloved vegetable garden has been pummeled to mush.

Batman's commentary: a firm shake of the paw.

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