Stories and Traveltips

ID #4611

Thunderstorms on the Highveld, Southern Africa.

The highveld is a summer rainfall area.

Little or no rain falls from April through September -- the earth is parched, the grass withers and the soil is bare in places. Days are warm and sunny, but nights are cold.

August is the windy month -- it whips up the dust, thrashing the dead leaves about and the smell of dust lingers.

In late September or early October, black clouds darken the land in the late afternoon.  Dogs and cats cower. The wind blows furiously and lightning, accompanied by thunderous bangs and crashes, lights up the sky. Sometimes, you jump with fright. If one hears a “click” you know it was very close. The wind threatens to tear the trees limb from limb. Large drops of rain splatter the ground. It increases to a thunderous downpour. One can hardly hear oneself speak.  It pours for about 20 minutes and then suddenly ceases. The clouds drift away and the sun shines brightly at first, then slowly fades. The ground is littered with leaf fragments. One can smell the damp earth and the smell of dust has disappeared. The mossies (sparrows) chirping sounds unusually loud. Masked weavers frantically start repairing their nests, only to have them dismantled by their ever-critical mates. All’s right with the world. Nkosi Sikilele Afrika (God Bless Africa). Alan McIver AWThunder

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Last update: 2014-03-28 08:08
Author: Alan McIver
Revision: 1.1

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