Thunderstorms? In the desert?

I don’t really consider inclement weather in desert settings. Isn’t the desert an inclement weather setting of its own? I always thought it was. That being said, even the desert gets bad weather. Who knew?

I’ve been fortunate enough to have spent time in several desert settings. The deserts of Turkey were serene most day. It didn’t rain while I was there. It was just sunny and hot.

I have also spent several stints in the southern USA over the years. When it rains there, it literally pours. You can see it coming at you from a ways away, and you hunker down when it hits you. Unless you’re on a motorcycle at the time (Like I was several years ago, riding the southwest with some friends of mine), then you put on rain gear and just suck it up. Have I mentioned that I HATE being out in the rain yet? Oh, okay.

Here in the Middle East, it’s kind of like the southwestern USA. When it rains … IT RAINS. I have seen two types of rain since I have been here. The light, maybe lasting five minutes, sprinkle. Everybody prepares for the flood, and when it doesn’t come they go back to what they were doing. That’s happened several times. If it rains for more than five minutes there is mud to contend with, but that’s about it. I actually like these quick sprinkling events, as they knock all the suspended dust and grit out of the air. The quick rain makes the air clear for several days afterwards. It’s a pleasant change.

Interestingly enough, when it rains lightly, and knocks all the dust and grit out of the air, it kind of rains mud. If you’re wearing anything that shows dirt, when you come inside it will be covered with little mud spots. That was the dust you were breathing in for the last however many days. It’s funny the first time it happens, but you adjust pretty fast.

Last night however, we got the other kind of rain. The sky turned a kind of burnt orange color, the wind came up, and the rain pelted down. As it really got good and going, the thunder came in along with it, just to make sure that you were really paying attention. Thunder storms in the stark-dry desert are crazy. I mean legitimately crazy. The rain comes down so fast that it doesn’t knock any of the dust out of the air. It also comes down hard enough to throw all of the loose dust and grit on the ground up into the air. Your car literally looks like you dumped pails of mud on it the next morning. And the air, the air has more dust in it than it did before the rains started. Ok, maybe not more, but it does seem that way. There is this thick film hanging in the air today, like you can’t really tell where the horizon line is. It can be a bit off-putting.

As a funny observation, people in the Middle East don’t really understand the implications of lots of rain on the roadways. The traffic didn’t seem to let up at all as the rain came down harder and harder. The traffic just kept going down the road. I guess, being oblivious to disaster is the best way to avoid it?

I’m not sure how many times a year it is supposed to rain super heavy out this way. I get the sense that it doesn’t happen very often. That’s probably a good thing. We don’t need anything washing away here. I’ll just stay off the roads and things will be ok.


Okay, I don’t have any pictures of mud rain. How about some camels?

Nevertheless, don’t be scared by the weather. Get out there. Go see stuff.


2 responses to “Thunderstorms? In the desert?”

  1. Jeffrey Savitskie Avatar
    Jeffrey Savitskie

    Still hard to wrap my head around that you up and moved to a middle eastern country. A DRY middle eastern country.


    1. It is quite dry here. On all fronts!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: