rainy season

before New Mexico weather became a part of my life, i thought monsoons were only something that hit India.

but we have our own North American version. also known as the Mexican monsoon, here in northeastern New Mexico we go from a parched earth June to a very rainy July. starting in southern Mexico, the winds take a shift in direction and the dry heat-beaten desert air begins to meld with the moist air from the Pacific. (though also, if the Plains have a rainy Spring, it also contributes to the monsoons. --so, a rainy spring in my Kansas means a rainy summer in my New Mexico.)

as the monsoons come, the wild forest fire threat that had loomed over us all of spring, is relieved. and the desert southwest gets most of its rain for the whole year. feeding the trees, the cacti, the fields and the wells.

as a Kansan, I know the power of a thunderstorm. the force of tornado winds and the feel of a drenching rain. but those storms usually come with dark, rolling clouds & a feeling of electricity in the air. the power is in the wind & the clouds.

the power here is in the rain. in the afternoon, the clouds build up fast. but never very dark, instead grey, blue and white clouds all of a sudden pile on top of us. a big wind comes, blowing up the desert into a wall of dust, making our doors & windows creak, and then a downpour hits. washing away all the desert dust in a swoosh. arroyos, huge mountain ditches that are bone dry most of the year, become rushing creeks from flash flooding.

and then it is gone. leaving the ground wet and the air cool enough to put a jacket on.

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