Thursday, April 22, 2010

Weather in the Valley

I love the weather here. Coming from New England this is like dying and going to heaven. It is always warm, during the day it can get hot, but it's a dry heat, not like the east coast of the U.S. where you are always sweltering under humidity. Due to the elevation, when the sun sets at night it cools off enough to sleep comfortably. It is always sunny. Not two or three days a week like back home. All the time. Every day. Once a week or so lately we get a rain storm that builds in the afternoon and then unleashes for an hour or maybe a few. Then it clears, and it's nice the next day. If I could design my own perfect weather, this might be it.
Every once in a while I'll go up on our roof and just take in the sunsets or the gathering storms. Although there are mountains all around, the Kathmandu valley itself is a big dried up lake bed about thirty miles across. You can see the storms and clouds build on the surrounding hills and see the lightning from quite a distance. The above picture shows the sun setting behind some building clouds on the horizon near the edge of the valley.

On occasion you get some really stunning contrast. Above, as a storm swirled around the valley you got to see some blue sky mixed with rain down by the hills and dark clouds moved in the winds at a lower elevation, giving the sky a really cool look this day. The picture kind of fails to capture the scope of what I was looking at, but it was quite impressive.

Back in March and in the beginning of April we got hit with a couple of very strong hail storms. The large hail beating on the concrete roof, and windows makes quite a racket. This hail was about the size of a large marble, I'm up on the third floor looking down at the garden and you can very clearly make out the individula hail stones. You can even make out a few of them falling from the sky.

Another shot of a storm gathering over Kathmandu. The lightning from this one was wild. With such a large open area to watch the sky from you can watch very clearly the bolts shoot from cloud to cloud, or the occasional bolt that strikes the ground. During the height of this storm a bolt struck somewhere just to the west of us, no more than a couple hundred yards I'd guess. That'll wake you up from a sleepy session at the laptop! Anyway, the weather here is great and the storms are really fun to watch. There might be some things I miss occasionally from back home, weather is not one of them.

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