On Saturday night, the first indication that something was amiss was the TV signal breaking up. At first a few stutters, then the picture froze, finally the connection was lost. ‘Atmospherics,’ we thought, so had a look out of the window into the dark sky. Instead of the calm of a tropical night we saw a confetti of leaves hurtling towards us, blowing uphill, dust blooming from the roof and the trees being tossed around. We started guessing how long before the rain arrived. Sure enough, it wasn’t long before a steady downpour began, then the intensity increased and the parched earth was soaked, the dust was settled and muddy rivulets created on the paving below. Looking down towards the centre of town we thought the rain was so torrential that it had blocked the lights from view, but then realised there was a power cut and we were one of the few buildings that still had power. Suddenly the lights twinkled on, but shortly after went off again. We thought of the people who live in less than waterproof houses and were glad of our comfort.
The rain continued for some time then a flicker of hope as the TV signal came back, but for all too short a tantalising few minutes of the new Dr Who!! but then was lost again as the rain intensified and then the lightening began. The thunder which followed was quite faint so after counting the seconds, we worked out it was over three miles away.
Photograph courtesy of Adam West
The storm soon blew over and TV was restored, but we had missed Dr Who. The next morning the garden was littered with debris, but the air was crisp and clear, so we could see the north shore quite clearly and the estuary looked perfectly calm. The misty humidity of the previous day had gone. Driving to the beach, the sky was blue and the sea reflected this.
This is not the beginning of the rainy season we were assured, but look below to see what is to come – just in case you are planning a holiday!
First, you can see the temperature varies very little throughout the year, so don’t worry about packing warm clothes.
But, you may want to consider the rain! If you are not sure how much rain this shows… the average for London does not rise above 80mm on the left hand scale even in the wettest winter months! and the wettest place in UK only gets to 160mm in the worst months. So many people avoid visits here during June – September.
But don’t worry about daylight hours, these don’t vary too much either. No long light summer evenings, or short winter days.
Chart thanks to: http://www.climate-charts.com/Locations/s/SL61000000000013.php
Apart from clearing the air, the other effect of the rain was not apparent until the evening, just after sunset – which we watched from the terrace of Country Lodge (a bank of cloud on the horizon rather spoilt that though) – as we made for the car and were suddenly aware of clouds of winged insects. As we drove home they struck the windows and swarmed around any light. Fortunately the lights on the house are away from the door and we were able to make it inside without incident! In the morning the paths were littered with wings – I imagine the geckos and lizards were sleeping off their feast. But the brief lives of the insects had passed, the air was cool and fresh, and the sky was blue once more; it’s going to be a bright (bright), bright (bright) sun-shiny day!