Where Humidity Comes From
So, this week I've experienced humidity. I've been in it before, but now I'm living it. For all the talk, they're right. I'm used to "dry heat" and after only a week of this, believe me when I say I prefer dry heat. The past week it's been in the 80's and 90's with very high humidity. I can stand the feel on my skin... it's moist and not burning like dry heat, which is nice, but my biggest problem is I seem to have trouble breathing. The air is literally thick and I can't seem to get full breaths in it. It's driving me bonkers!
But that isn't the worst part. Oh, no. You see, humidity, as most smart folks will tell you, exists because there is a lot of moisture in the air. What nobody prepared me for were the "summer storms" that my co-workers tell me can be an almost daily occurrence in Maryland. They have now told me that even when the forecasters don't mention a chance of thunderstorms, history has shown them that there is ALWAYS a chance of thunderstorms.
On Monday, after work, I ran a few errands. The day had been bright and muggy and in the 90's. But when I exited the supermarket after my last errand, the wind was suddenly whipping strongly, and the sky was turning black, and fast! I could see it rolling in. When I got home, the wind was howling and the trees were blowing sideways, so I closed all the windows, which were still open because it still was HOT, especially upstairs. By the time I got to the last window, I only had a few seconds before the big claps of thunder and the rain began hitting the windows straight on. It poured with such force that it was blinding outside and heavier than a shower in the morning (to get clean, not like an early rainshower). I went downstairs to watch TV and finally relax. More thunder, some lightning, and then the power flashed on and off, 3 times. After the third time, it remained off. The sun was setting and within a half hour I was sitting in the dark... for the next 2 hours. The thunder was so loud I jumped out of my chair a few times. The lightning was so intense that it sometimes hit at the same moment as the thunder, lighting up the sky in literal shades of orange, red, and even blue! It was non-stop for over an hour at least. I could even see the lightning rods several times. On one hand, it made me think of how Ben Franklin discovered electricity. On the other hand, it was terrifying for an inexperienced storm-watcher like myself. And it was LOUD! I was actually conscious of how loud everything seemed for that period of time, almost like an earthquake, if I could hear an earthquake over my screams. For all of my L.A.-native friends like myself, I'm sure you know I am NOT exaggerating when I say that if a storm like this had come to L.A., it would have been the top story for 2 days.
But not in Maryland. No. No mention, no discussion, no nothing. So I brought it up at work the day after. I said, "So, I'm guessing the storm last night was considered relatively mild, huh?" They looked at me as if to say "What storm?" and then did a very small scoff answering, "Storm? Oh, the rain yesterday? That was nothing." Oh, yeah. It's going to be a long summer.
P.S. And a long winter... apparently, they say there are only 4-8 really nice weeks of weather total all year in MD. Oh, joy.