Usually this time of year, from early July to the beginning of September, is our monsoon season. It is when we get more than half of the rain for the year and the triple digit temperatures bring violent storms, flooding, wind and lightning.
This year we are well below normal on rain from the season. We have less than a tenth of what we usually do (keeping in mind that Tucson averages about 10-12 inches per year and monsoons average almost 7 of them). We are in a severe drought again for the first year in several years.
I remember being terrified of lightning as a child and my brother standing me at the screen door and counting the distance with me to make me feel better. It used to bounce off the mountains in Colorado and it was beautiful.
After moving to Tucson in high school, I still loved watching the lightning. We have a lot of cloud-to-cloud and since we are in a valley, we can watch it all around us.
While I respected it, I never really was bothered by it until the last 10 years or so. Our house has been hit twice while I was here. Lightning does strike twice–just on opposite sides of the house.
The first time I was here alone, the loudest crack that I have ever heard came from the back of the house and the smoke detector started blaring. I went across the street, called 911, called Snake and spent 15 terrifying minutes waiting to find out it had hit the frame of one of the bedroom windows. No fire but we lost most of the electronics since it traveled through the alarm sensors and through the entire house.
The second time Snake was here. We were trying to figure out where to go for dinner on a Saturday night. The storm seemed close but not that close. Again, the crash. This time it apparently hit on the garage side of the house somewhere. Garage door was fried. Dryer was fried. And yet another new alarm system.
But, I still love to watch it. When we went to the pop-up drive-in a couple of months ago, it was beautiful watching it in the distance. I love trying, and usually failing, to get a good photograph of it. Snake and I spent a lot of date nights in the car watching the storms move across the valley.
So, while we wait for the storms to start, fingers crossed, I admit to not missing the threat of it hitting here (again!), but summer isn’t really summer without the crashing thunder and lightning crossing the sky.