End Of The Storm

Storm Couds Rolling InWhen I say “kind of epic,” I totally mean it, because that’s about as good as you’re going to get here in Anchorage.  Thunderstorms are few and far between in this part of the state, being that it’s south central Alaska and we live close to an ocean that keeps our temperatures somewhat mild. Let me tell you though, I spent many of my younger summers in Minnesota, and like the rest of the lower 48 they have real thunderstorms.

If you don’t know where Anchorage is, or are too lazy to look at a globe, then I’ll give you a little more information. Located in south central Alaska, Anchorage is the largest city in the state, and is located to the south of the center of Alaska. If you were to divide the state in half vertically, Anchorage would be located pretty close to the middle, but south.

The cool thing is that we have a port right at the end of the mighty/muddy body of water known as….the Cook Inlet. Apparently, one day many years ago, Captain James Cook sailed up that inlet and dropped anchor in the vast 3 foot deep water and did something. It had to do with maps, I think. At least according to my Wikipedia research.

I’m pretty sure I don’t really know what I’m talking about, but I think since he dropped anchor there, that’s the reason our city is named Anchorage. Don’t ask me why he got credit though, since there were many visits from various other people prior to him and his crew.

Seriously, why am I talking about Cook Inlet when this blog post is supposed to be about our miniature thunderstorm? I really need to work on staying fo…

*Gets up and goes into the kitchen to take a bite of ham and Swiss sandwich*

*Goes back toward computer room*

*Decides to turn around and take another bite of sandwich*

*Looks at clock*

*Goes back toward computer room*

*Sits down*

*Opens Youtube for dumb reason*

*3 hours later…*

Stone Path

It’s hard to tell here but the rain was just beginning to fall on our sort of new path.

Nathan got to see an actual bolt of lightening, which was a great first for him. It was kind of hard to gauge just how far away the storm was. I do know you can tell how far away the storm is by measuring the amount of time it takes to hear the thunder after the initial lightning flashes, but I don’t know exactly how it works.

It was pretty cute watching the seriousness on his face as he looked outside. It was a totally new thing to him, and one that he won’t get to experience that often if he decides to stick around Anchorage when he gets older.

All in all, I would say we heard perhaps 6 solid booms of thunder. That’s pretty piddly I understand, but when you get maybe 2 decent lightning storms around here per year if you’re lucky, it’s still pretty cool. Most of the thunder and lightening storms that happen in Alaska happen in the interior, far away from any coastal regions. Without the mild temperatures that the oceans provide, the interior of Alaska is subject to greater temperature fluctuations. It can get quite hot in the summer as well as being bitterly cold at times during the winter around places like Fairbanks.

The heat then brings thunderstorms, which is the source of most of the state’s wildfires. In fact, just a couple days ago, there were a total of 57 wildfires going on throughout the state. The biggest one known as the Sockeye fire has already burned more than 7,200 acres but is only 15% contained. This year has been pretty brutal as far as wildfires go, and it’s very expensive for the state to keep the fires contained.

On top of that, there are firefighters from the lower 48 up here helping fight all the forest fires. It’s pretty nuts.

Vanessa’s parents home in Glennallen, which is also part of south central Alaska I guess, got struck by lightning a while back and the electricity traveled throughout the house via the copper wire in the walls, blasting the covers off of outlets and just generally doing lots of mayhem.

In spite of all that though, I will say it again, it was still pretty cool watching the storm. It also brought with it a much welcomed cool breeze as well as some pretty heavy rainfall (usually it just drizzles). The past few days here had been ridiculously hot and dry. It was over 80°F (26.6667°C) in our house with really no way of cooling it down apart from buying an air conditioning unit. But those are basically non-existent up here.

Rain About To Fall

This is just prior to when the rain really began to fall. You can see the trees blowing in the wind.

It’s so cool when the weather is changing and you’re anticipating a good thunder and lightening storm. You can just feel something, or maybe even smell something in the air. I know it has to do with the barometric pressure change that proceeds different weather conditions, but I don’t know how to describe it. It’s like a sixth sense I guess you could say.

*Pro tip – You don’t necessarily have to practice playing the drums if your house feels like an oven. There is however, a work around to this problem if you insist on playing the drums like an idiot like me. Go to the freezer. Grab ice tray. Twist said ice tray. Retrieve ice cubes. Insert ice cubes in pants. Enjoy.

So we were basically stuck in a sauna with our fans going full bore, feeling quite miserable. Now that I’m thinking about it, it does feel like there have been more storms than normal during the past few years. Although that could be nothing more than me emerging from my troll cave and looking out the window.

Finally today, it’s overcast out and the temperature is much more manageable. And for that I am very thankful. Somehow the topic of this blog post got shifted from how cool the thunderstorm was, to how whiny I can be about the heat. I gotta hand it to you, if you live in the southern part of the country, because I for one couldn’t handle that much heat.

End Of The Storm

And just as quickly as the storm started, it ended.

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