After The Rain, Before The Storm

The nightly storms that send rain pelting down upon our humble home and illuminate the sky with lightning are impressive. More surprising though, is waking up every morning to blue skies.

It’s not that we aren’t used to wild weather here in the Lake Geneva region; when you live between two mountain ranges, you expect thunderstorms to rattle the windows and drown out conversation.

Big clouds billow and march, rain and hail burst forth from balmy summer skies, winds change direction on a whim and another ‘orage‘ has made its mark.

Roses, pathway, mountains, after the rain
Sodden roses line a local walking path.
Photo: PKR

As I write this a couple of hours after my run in the sun, clouds are already gathering again, the air getting heavier, the wind picking up. Another storm is on the march.

But the weather we are experiencing isn’t limited to our neighborhood between the Jura and the Alps – half of Europe is counting the high numbers of lightning strikes as if keeping score. France saw almost 150,000 recording lightning strikes in May 2018, the most since the collection of that kind of data began in the early 2000s.

It’s not that we’re having more storms, it’s that the storms are having more of an impact. The average temperature in France for the month of May this year was a full degree Celsius higher than last year. Thunder and lightning storms feed on that kind of heat.

potato, crop, flood, rain, summer, running
A nearby field is flooded after the storms. I doubt the crop will recover from this kind of standing water.
Photo: PKR

As for the blue skies: At least where I live, every morning over the past week has dawned bright and shiny as a newly minted coin, as if all that noise over the past night belonged to some other country. Birds are singing, the critters are out, as if we’ve all agreed not to speak of the violent winds and rain. A large dragonfly followed me for much of my morning run, always just out of photo range.

erosion, running, water, thunderstorms, summer
I can only imagine how quickly the water must have been flowing to erode my usual running path overnight.
Photo: PKR

 

Flying ahead, settling, watching me approach, and then flitting off again, further and further away from any pond or river where it might normally live. Of course, the garden flowers are hanging and the glorious peonies of May are lost in aprons of pink petals on the ground.

 

More storms are predicted for the rest of the week…

 

 

mountains, running, summer, thunderstorm, rain
The Jura range behind our village, sunny after the thunderstorm.
Photo: PKR