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The Ice Is Going To Break
The Ice Is Going To Break
The ice is going to break on the Santa Cruz River Saturday May 13th.
Down here in Southern Arizona the ice breaks on our river when it hits 100 degrees for the first time in the year.
The ice is breaking on our river a little early this year. Maybe that's because of global warming...but when a place has 5 months of 100 degree days, it is hard to tell if the rest of the world is getting hotter.
Of course, there's no water in our river. That evaporated a century ago.
We like to joke that no one from Tucson or Phoenix goes to Hell...because we're already living there.
We actually have 2 summer seasons here..hot dry summer then hot wet summer.
Starting now and until early July we have day after day of clear skies, relentless heat with temperatures reaching 115 some days. But, as we say down here, "it's a dry heat".
People go crazy here during hot dry summer. That's why we all flee to the California coast for at least a week. Otherwise we'd all kill each other.
Then around the first week of July the winds shift and start blowing up from Mexico bringing a surge of moisture. Thunderclouds start building over the 9,000 foot mountains that surround Tucson, and there are spectacular lightning shows each night.
Eventually the thunderstorms work their way over the desert valley floor and cooling rain falls. Wet summer begins, called our Monsoon.
The first storm that hits the city is a major celebration. After all, we've gone 4 months without rain. The storm always arrives with a huge blast of wind, a giant dust storm, and athousand bolts of lightning. Then the rain comes and people have been known to run out into it naked.
Monsoon days start out clear, hot and humid. But by afternoon towering cloudscapes build over the mountains, then the storms blow into the city with dust, wind, lightning, and drenching sheets of rain. Then it cools ways down, people open all the windows in their houses to let the cool fresh air inside, there's a lot of sex going on, frogs start singing, and the cycle starts all over again at sunrise.
Since it doesn't rain that much here, a lot of streets don't have bridges. During a big summer storm our urban streams, called "washes" have flash floods washing unsuspecting motorists away. The city puts of warning signs and barrakades at these washes. We have a "stupid motorist" law..if you drive into a flooded wash where there is a warning sign and have to be rescued, the government bills you for the rescue. It is cheaper to put up the signs than build bridges.
For about 2 months -- July and August -- it rains frequently in the late afternoon or evening, and the desert explodes with life. The countryside actually turns green. Rivers even flow for a few hours.
5/14/2006 8:03 pm
Just a comment on "dry heat". They bake cookies in dry heat. lol|