Friday, 12 February 2010

My weather trees reveal an interesting pattern

There’s reason for excitement here in the Riebeek Valley when we’re lucky enough to experience a summertime electrical storm. Particularly for those of us who grew up on the Highveld, where summer afternoon thunderstorms are practically an everyday event, the Western Cape’s Mediterranean climate can be rather dull – basically, summer is just an endless series of long, hot, dry days, and winter a seemingly as endless series of short, cold, wet ones; spring and autumn, both pleasantly mild, pass barely noticed, and largely without the profusion of blossom or fall of russet leaves we from wilder climes are accustomed to.

So earlier this week, when a tremendously loud clap of thunder shook the windows of the house at 5am and caused the zoo to run shrieking in all directions, I immediately got out of bed to go and stand outside in the ozone-charged air, turning my face up to the fat, warm rain and watching the lightning strike up and down the valley. It was just terrific! And so unusual, not to say unseasonal!

But was it? Because I’ve been keeping my weather trees going for three years now, I can say, with a high degree of certainty, that in fact this ‘freak’ summer electrical storm wasn’t either unseasonal or unusual. To the contrary, it occurred at the same time almost to the day, on 7 and 8 February in 2008 (top pic), on 7 February in 2009 (middle pic) and on 9 February this year – the purple zigzags around the leaf indicate storm activity.

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1 comment:

ali g said...

That all looks very medievil..sure you weren't Guinevere in a past life?
In my past life as a banker I was known as Sir Lunchalot..