Mountain Rain

It’s raining in the mountains near Taos, NM

Rain moving right to left over Taos Pueblo lands

We can have giant storms you see from over ninety miles away. They take years to get here, but when they do they’re as big as Oklahoma and make all kinds of scary noises. There’s always a big wind from the rapid evaporative cooling that takes place overhead in ten percent humidity, and that whips up the dust. Sometimes you get a flood or half a foot of hail, but usually the rain evaporates before it hits the ground.

Then there’s rain like you see above. The clouds sneak in from the southwest and pile up in the mountains. They move even more slowly than the storms that track across the plains. (I like to think that’s because they’re catching on the peaks and naturally that slows them down.) There isn’t much wind with these and sometimes none at all, probably because the air is humid and already cold. With this kind of storm, there might be a crack of thunder in the distance. The sound reverberates and bounces, slowly and much longer than you think it ought to. If it finally rains, the water comes straight down. As it oh so slowly passes, shreds of clouds drift across the higher slopes and mountain valleys. By now it’s really chilly, too.

You won’t have a drink outside this evening, and a fire in the wood stove sure sounds nice.

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