Something’s Different

I went out to Elk City, ID on Friday in mid-July. The weather service had red posted flag warnings for the weekend for the whole Payette and Nez Perce National Forests. I was mentally prepared for high winds and dry lightening and to leave on short notice.

I left Grangeville about 8PM. It had been a sunny and hot day, but when I got down to the South Fork of the Clearwater it was cool and I opened the car windows to enjoy an evening drive 50 miles to Elk City. Above Golden, ID, there was fog halfway down the hillsides. It was quite, calm and cool. The road showed signs of a recent rain.

At the cabin everything was wet from rain, it was sprinkling and just 65 degrees. The morning broke clear and cool. I did fire suppression and firewood gathering on the hill near the cabin. The day was sunny but the temperature pleasant for the work. At 4PM the wind got gusty and a few fat rain drops fell. I cleaned up my tools and was on the porch with a beer when the power went out. Before I could decide to BBQ dinner the power was back and it started lightly raining. There was regular thunder and lightening. Counting the time from flash to boom it was not nearby, but the sounds were intense and long. All told we got maybe 1/4 inch of rain, there were puddles everywhere. The rain quit and it started clearing by 6PM.

By 8:30 I headed to bed and shortly after it started to rain hard. I fell asleep to the sound. I awoke at 6AM, the valley was quiet, fog hung a few hundred feet up. The temp was in the 50s. Then BOOM. I didn’t see the lightening, but the thunder was loud. I’ve never seen morning lightening on a cool foggy day. Where does the energy come from? Must be upper level winds. By 7AM a light rain had started again.

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One Response to “Something’s Different”

  1. scspaeth Says:

    This post reminds me of the smell of dry late-summer in the Pacific Northwest and the change that comes with rain.

    We saw the reports of serious fires in Idaho and Washington on the national news. Glad to see that you have been spared similar adverse effects.

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