Mizzle: Rain but not. The random spits that last 15 minutes with the promise of so much more, but becomes nothing as if God had put a muzzle to the mizzle!
Drizzle: most dreaded, especially in colder climates. Almost not felt on face, but brush the hair or outer layer of clothing and a slick wet layer to be found.
Shower: most welcome refresher after a period of sun and cloud.
Sun Shower: In Malaysian cultural tradition it is a sign that someone you know has just passed away. Dark indeed, when the day is still quite light!.
Rain: just that. Not too much, not too little, just is.
Storm: Rain? No. Waterfall? Yes. Usually accompanied by much wind, almost horizontal and guaranteed to cause distress if caught outside.
Thunderstorm: As per storm above, but with additional light and sound effects that can be house shaking!
Soaker: The yummy rain. Straight down, not heavy enough to cause erosion, just right to soak in and in to the parched soil. Farmers favourite.
Siesta, the usual, somewhere between 12.30pm and 2.30pm. Big open windows are closing with curtains soon to follow with Aircon on for an hour or so.
Outside? Had been late Morning melting and sweating out in the garden. Temperature? About 30 c. and still on the rise. Humidity? Roughly 900% and still rising……a deliberate extra (0) exaggeration, maybe. But when a person works for a mere 15 minutes in sometimes part shade and then sweats profusely for the next 45 minutes, it is clear the numbers do lie. It takes about 30 minutes too long after finishing work to stop sweating. I fundamentally know through to my now seemingly soggy bones that reality is 900%!! Fact!
I’m no weather wimp. In Hobart Tasmania, worked on a landscape job through snowstorm and following days on frozen ground, Donned the serious wet weather gear doing a forestry planting job involving thousands of tube stock in the middle of a dark Hobart winter. We had to finish and the last two days being solid rain with a nice chillsome to the bone breeze to go with it. Moist indeed.
Douglas River campsite in Tasmania. New Years holiday with many families. Rain started late afternoon, increased to storm conditions. The sensible campers packed up and left. Us nonsensical ones stayed put. Bailed family out of tent about 2 am into the car. I stayed in the tent as no room left in the car. Storm was non-stop. Tent stayed upright and dry. Somehow finally slept – only about an hour and opened the tent flap in the now still early morning to see flooded camp ground. Water halfway up the wheels of the car and about one inch short of flooding into the tent. Found out later that we had about 200mm (8 inches) of rain in a 10 hour period. By the next day waters had receded and what had been a busy campsite was down to just two families that had ridden the storm out and now having a truly exclusive holiday.
Perth,West Australia working on housing sub-divison landscape job in high heat conditions ranging from 38C – 45C over several consecutive days. The mantra keeps on rolling through the mind – “I must hydrate, I must hydrate”. Many years camping and surfing in remote areas, on one occasion being forced to wear a wetsuit for 48 hours, because every bit of clothing was soaking wet after the most outrageous horizontal rain storm blew our campsite apart. For those that don’t know – look up “Wetsuit chafe” on Dr. Google. Two days in a wetsuit and I couldn’t touch one bit of skin without the “Ouch’ involuntarily coming out.
Have lived in the sub tropics like Brisbane and a certain afternoon thunderstorm accompanied by golf ball sized hailstones is definitely in the Top 3 weather events of my life in which I spent all my time (almost an hour) perched on the very small shelf in a telephone box only a block away from the house waiting for the hailstones to subside. Loud? Unbelievably so.
Anyway, back to the siesta…….
When it comes down to it, Kuala Lumpur is the most extreme of the lot. Heat plus air moisture (humidity) effect are exacerbated as there is little to no air movement 90% of the time. It is like suffocation. The Air-con office or shopping mall are the places of refuge. Me? Not so much, as I am now home full time and loving the early afternoon siesta.
Am drawing the curtains observing some dark grey clouds off to the left. Don’t think too much about the increasingly angry clouds, as thunderstorms usually happen after 3pm. A bit to early. Just as the curtains are drawn an insta white flash stunning the retinas, soon followed by thunder. So unexpected. Curtains are re-opened, witness to the tree canopy being bent over and a dead Palm leaf blown like a serviette to the driveway entry. Light and Bang again and it is on! Almost cannot see the other side of our skinny suburban street through the now sheeting thunder rain.
Wow! Awesome! Windows are opened to let the sound wash in. Off with the Aircon and on with the ceiling fan at low speed. Horizontal I become. Eye lids shutter down and the ears tune in. Light penetrates the closed lids. BANNGGG, immediately after. The mind was quick and prepared I was for the insta house shaking follow up to the lightning. The light and sound show just didn’t let up, but the mind must have found it oddly reassuring as I woke up about an hour later feeling refreshed and cleansed as the thunderstorm had done to the immediate World outside. Now, just a pitter patter light shower. Can hear the thunderstorm rolling off in the far distance. Recalling, I could not distinguish when sleep presented itself. It certainly was not after the crash and bang show.
Head downstairs and out to the rear yard to check the rain-gauge which is full – at least 40mm. Serious soaking we had and some soil erosion into the yard from the slope at back. Recent planting had certainly helped to slow down the slope runoff and erosion. Fresh, ozone layered air assaulted its way up the nostrils, in the mouth and down into the lungs. I couldn’t breath quickly enough to gulp this air tang down. Fresh organic smells of the nearby forest wafted down the hill to become part of the sensory overload. Looking out and down across the valley with now sharp relief of the City skyscrapers so clear to see. A mere two hours earlier they had been blurred from the urban grey of car pollution.
Wash away our urban environmental sins it did. It may only be temporary until the urban vehicle crawl starts tomorrow, but I don’t care in this moment. Tonight there will be stars to see, an almost full moon with craters visible from the binoculars, because of rain. Our urban rivers come waste drains are flushed clean, because of rain. Water supply dams topped up, because of rain. Peat fires in Selangor have been damped down for now, because of rain. Previously brown grass verges from three months of dry will be green again within two days, because of rain. The muddled and Covid stressed mind cleansed to take on whatever life throws it’s way, because of rain.
Life it gives and renews, this precious and priceless gift of our Planet’s nature.