It's Not Just a Special Effect

Last night in the middle of the night, I heard a crack of thunder and saw the room lit with a flash even though the curtains had been drawn in the bedroom. The window of the bathroom was open, so I hopped up and went into the bathroom to close the window; and just as I managed to get it closed and battened down, the rain started pouring down as if someone had turned on a faucet.

You know how one sees people in the old black and white movies showing how fx were done to simulate a Nor'Eastern storm; rattling a big sheet of tin and throwing buckets of water on the actors on the stage?

It always seemed to unrealistic to me, a kid in LA who had only seen LA rains, the downpours were so thick you almost couldn't breath in 'em, but it all came straight down all at once. Not in waves, sheets of waves of water... but last night it was just like that... like a bucket brigade throwing buckets of water against the roof, I could see the splashes of a wave of water hitting the pitched roof in the light of the near constant lightning, and the constant pour of the water from the eaves and gutters. I could feel the wind pounding against the window I'd just closed.

In Colorado when thunderstorms hit it's big crack-booms of thunder, lightning like fireworks from sky to earth, but sudden and quick and as huge as the sky is out there, it's never more than a little slice of it. Here the thunder kept going and going and going like a man shaking a sheet of tin, and the lightning was constant, flickering like a bonfire, not anything like in Colorado where it's a quick crack in the sky or the ball of lightning bouncing across the wide open sky. Here the sky is narrowed by the trees until it's just a slice of the world that was filled with the wild fire of lightning.

It lasted just 15 minutes. The boys slept right through it, we'd all been up until midnight playing card games, talking, and listening to Tim play on the banjo, Brenda on the fiddle, and George on his five-gallon bucket bass. They slept right through it while I sat on the closed toilet and watched a true Northeast thunderstorm roll through.
I love thunderstorms in the Northeast. I really do. It's one of the things I missed so much when I lived in the Bay Area. They get rain, but even when they get lightning, it's just not the same thing. Here it can seem like the end of days has come. During the day, when a storm like that rolls in the world gets twilight dark. The thunder starts to rumble. Then you get a flash or two of quick lightning. Sometimes the rain starts out light, sometimes it starts all at once at its heaviest, usually the deluge is signaled by a sudden bright flash of lightning and loud thunder. Then the thunder becomes seemingly endless, one rumble rolling into another and then another. The rain pours down, and if you watch it over a parking lot or some other hard surface, you can actually see the waves of it moving. The winds whip the trees. Rain drops hit the ground so hard they bounce back up.

It's a truly awesome sight and experience.
I can see why you missed them. Wow... yeah, the wind whipping through was great!

We get some of that in Colorado, heck, we get a thunderstorm nearly every afternoon... but not with quite the intensity...
Wow! I love how you describe the experience. It's very visceral and exciting.

And with all those folk-style musicians, I keep thinking of the Rolling Thunder Revue for some reason.
Your description of it was lovely.

I also suspect you were taking mental notes. :)
What's really fun is when you get all of that and dark as night in the middle of the afternoon. Sunshine then about three minutes of darkening and then WHAM! Water thundering down in sheets, lightning the only light to be had and thunder rolling so loud you feel the walls rattle... ten minutes of that, another minute of lighting changes and then blue skies as far as the eye can see... Michigan is jacked up sometimes. Motto of the Michigander: Don't like the weather? Wait five minutes.

Well, we get that kind of instant change in Colorado, and back when we were in Seattle as well. LA not so much. *laughs* In CO it's usually a mix of bright sun and rain or snow or hail or... whatever... tornadoes just a few miles east, too. But, yeah, that torrential rain is pretty common on the desert. It was fun to see this one, though.

It's lovely and crazy. *laughs*
*laughs and laughs*

It's fun to hear your take as well. Whew... that would scare me, the lightning, that is. Lightning kills more people in Colorado every year than nearly any other blessed thing. It's all that wide-open land, nothing else to draw the strike...

I'm glad you two got through that safely!
Yeah, I saw that you guys were getting the same storms my folks were down in SE PA. Unfortunately we got none of it this far south (in MD). Gardening has really given me a better appreciation for the farmer's near-religious glee at seeing rain after a while without it. Unlike them I can always turn on the garden hose if both my rain barrels run dry, but still...

Yes. And in Colorado it's against the law to have rain barrels to collect rain fall from the roof, the water rights are so tightly held.

That's definitely a feeling I know very well, but it's 'cause we usually get far less water than we've been getting.
I love thunderstorms, and that one sounded lovely. I'd be sad it only lasted 15 minutes, but then again, any longer and they can cause a mess. (Lucky you were up to shut the window before it hit.)
It was amazing....

And, yeah, I'm glad I got the window closed in time. *laughs*
We've had 2 storms like that this summer. I love them. Though I have to admit the summer hasn't been warm enough or dry enough for me this year. Sheesh, you'd think I'd be grateful. XD

And my boys always seem to sleep through them too. :D

I do love the rain, except when I'm camping. *laughs* Neat about the storms you got! And I hope your summer warms up for you.

Yeah... they slept so soundly I was amazed... and Boy Larger was like, "Why didn't you wake me up!?"