Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Popcorn Convection

Every afternoon during the long summer months, high on the Colorado Plateau, I watched the clouds gather over the mountains to the south and begin to form in a random fashion out over the hot level ground. These clouds, showers and thundershowers that formed on a scattered basis with little or no apparent organization, usually during the afternoon in response to diurnal heating were caused by popcorn convection. Inevitably the storms would dissipate after sundown.

One of the advantages of youth, is the ability to sit and watch the sky, without worrying about something else, or even knowing that all of the clouds are acting in a predictable fashion and that the predictability has a name.

If one of the storms ventured near, we would leap into the car and drive frantically in the direction of the rain, careening down dirt roads until we caught the wet tail of the storm. We would then jump out and dance in the rain, until it moved on to some other location. I would still go outside and watch the rain when I lived in Panama, where it rained once or twice a day. I still miss watching the clouds.

No comments:

Post a Comment