July 19, 2013

White Dog and the rest of the White Dog Army did not need Michael's weather report when he returned from school to tell them a storm was coming. They had been sniffing and restless for over an hour as the thunderheads built and the sky darkened.  YoYoMa, horribly afraid of thunder storms and their unseen noises was already shaking. Thankfully we are having some success with the Thunder shirt with him (it has not worked on any of the others) so we dressed him before the rain hit. In preparation, Steve had taken everyone outside to make sure there would be no emergency needs over the next few hours.

The thunder and lightning put on a spectacular show to announce the first big, fat drops of rain. Soon it was a torrent. Then we could barely see to the end of our driveway. The WDA stayed together as a pack and huddled with Steve and I as the street ran like a river downhill, as it was designed to.

One of the interesting things about living in the desert is that deluges are not really beneficial rains. There is not enough ground vegetation to capture the water which just rolls over the sand and dirt, unabsorbed, carving deep messages in the sand. Because the rain usually starts in the mountains, the runoff is large and forceful by the time it hits town.

Albuquerque has huge concrete arroyos built specifically for these rains that occur mostly this time of year (our monsoon season). Most of the time, they are empty and dry and kids like to skateboard in them. There are reasons there are warnings not to do this; when it rains they fill quickly often without warming AND the sun could still be shining with the storm still miles away sending the runoff to announce the approach. The city planners also designed our street system to act as an urban drain-off to prevent flooding. Side streets are sloped to feed runoff water to major boulevards which carry the water and empty it into the Rio Grande.

The sudden violent storm dumped 1.8 inches of water in an hour; that is a LOT for an area that gets an average of only 9" rainfall annually (and it has been less the past few ears as we have experienced drought).

This is a short video made by a friend driving next to one of the concrete arroyos during the storm; it had been bone dry this morning and will return so within hours. Looking at the amount and surge force, you can understand the WDA's unease...especially poor Yo's.

The good news is that by nightfall, the sidewalks were dry and the stars were out. And peace reigned.

P.S. Puff saw Dr. Julia for a checkup today and was given the all clear. She does not have to go back unless something comes up (paws crossed that won't happen). Have a great weekend.


Tweedles -- that's me said...

Oh what a huge storm!!!
I think a very scary storm

Jo's World said...

What a terrifying thought to imagine a skateboarding kid in one of those arroyos.

We get big ones like that, but from maybe 6-8 inches, and we are at the bottom of a hill where it zooms down through the streets.

Looking forward to winter, (I am going to gear up this year for it!)


Brian said...

We sure undestand those kind of storms and they are no fun at all. Hooray for Puff, that is a terrific report!

meowmeowmans said...

Wow, that is some scary stuff! We can't imagine all that water all at once. Yay for Puff!

Ginger Jasper said...

Sounds really scary stuff. Not fun just hope they don't last long for you. Great news about Puff.. h
Hugs GJ xx

KB Bear said...

I've seen those arroyos in the Colorado mountains, in particular by Mount Princeton. They were bone dry, and now I see why they're there! That is an incredible video.

I'm glad that the thundershirt is helping YoYoMa and that Puff got a good report from Dr. Julia! Yay.

Kari in Alaska said...

Our Vegas friends were also telling us about huge scary storms!

Stop on by for a visit