When I drove to work on Wednesday morning the hail was piled up like snow in the streets of Berhampore. An hour earlier, maybe a little more, the Thunder woke me, and I lay in bed listening to it boom, counting the seconds between the lightening flash and following sound.
I can barely remember the last time I heard a storm like that in Wellington. In Sydney they used to roll across the city regularly – I can remember watching from the KPMG building where I worked above Darling Harbour as white-purple bolts crashed into the Western Suburbs. I can remember racing to cover the windscreen of our flatmate’s car so it didn’t shatter under the marble size hailstones belting out of the sky. I can remember sitting on the beach on dusk, in a warm calm world again, watching the passing squall, fading out to sea, electric light on the horizon.
From summers in Long Island I remember storms on humid nights. One time one passed directly overhead, its lightening striking a power pole at the end of the street where my then girlfriend lived. We rode over from my place to find the fire brigade dowsing the surrounding trees and the power pole splintered and smoldering on the ground. We rode on to her place to find the television ruined. Despite the fact it was off, and turned off at the wall. It had been plugged into a multi-point surge protector too – all that was left of that was a melted lump of plastic.
Anyhow, while I was lying in bed on Wednesday morning, listening to hail and thinking of storms in other countries, someone was up videoing. You can watch the Wellington storm on YouTube. And read about it on the MetService blog.