Friday, September 23, 2011

Typhoon Season

The US has hurricane season, Japan has its typhoons.

What's the difference, you ask? F~ if I know... Names only, actually, although hurricanes pack higher winds due to the warmer Caribbean waters, and typhoons dump piss-loads of rain. We name hurricanes after our mothers-in-law, the Japanese just give the typhoons numbers: "Ho-hum, here comes Number Nineteen..."

Our local river is at normal times just a trickle that barely qualifies as a "crick" back home. A concrete-sided, 20 ft wide, 12 ft deep bed with a stream 2 ft wide in the bottom is a subject for drunken deliberation and derision (say that after a couple of beers!).
-- "Whaz thish? Widdle baby wivulet wif wet dweams..."
-- "Jeezh, put a Depends on that and it'd dry right up!"

And then the typhoon hits, and it's like John Holmes decided to play the sorceror's apprentice in Fantasia - the buckets keep coming and coming...


72 hours of rain* that averages 2 inches/hour, and that pissant little stream discovers the Arnold Swarzeneggar fountain of steroids and "bulks up". It fills that 20 ft bed from side-to-side, then deepens, turning into a roiling mass of ochre mud and foam. Soon it's halfway up the banks' walls , and starting to look like a fast-moving deep-fat fryer.

Then the torrents increase to a quick 6" per hour, and the river starts lapping at the bridge. This last typhoon, it almost made it over the bridge.

If you live in the mountains or hills, you get the added joy of possibly seeing the mind-boggling sight of a whole hillside of trees, still upright and in serried rows, sliding past you, across the road and down the hill. And if you're really lucky, you're house goes splat (insert sarcastic smile/grimace here...).

Yep, I'll take Colorado's thunderstorms and occasional tornado any time!

* in Colorado, get 72 hours of rain and the suicide rate spikes...

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