Monsoon Season in the Desert

Did you know that Albuquerque has a monsoon season? Neither did I! It does. It’s in July, weirdly. Here’s what it looks like (it’s worth answering that irritating trivia question to see the flooded car). Those photos are from flash flooding downtown last night. I live seven miles away from this at higher elevation, and I had no idea.

It’s been storming off and on for weeks up here on the hills, but it’s always dry as a bone by the time I go for my run. The only clue that there’s been rain is that, whereas a month ago, the high desert really felt like desert, now I am coming across things like this everywhere in amongst the yellowed prickly pears:

photo

(Forgive the terrible quality of that photo; I neglected to take my phone out of its plastic sports sleeve before taking it, but you get the idea.)

Storms in Albuquerque are extremely bizarre — they are sudden and major and they come out of nowhere. A couple of weekends ago, I had the garage door open because I was doing laundry in there, and it was in the 90s so I needed ventilation. The sky was clear and blue, and the sun was as intense as ever. All of a sudden, I heard this weird rattling sound and went around the house looking for the source of it.

It was hail. By the time I went to check on the garage, my car was sitting in a small lake. Ten minutes later, it was as if it had never happened.

This place just gets weirder and weirder.

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