My absolutely favorite weather is a good thunderstorm. I've loved thunderstorms since I was a child. Such drama! When a storm is coming I love to go outside and sit on our front stoop where there's an overhang. Usually I don't get wet.
The sky darkens. Sometimes very quickly. Like this evening. Currently the sun doesn't set until almost 9 pm. Yet, this photo shows what the sky looked like at 7 pm. The clouds race across the sky. Many shades of gray and darker gray. Sometimes a shade of green. Then comes the rain.
And THEN comes the lightning and thunder! After a flash of lightning, we count: 1-1000, 2-1000, 3-1000...until we hear the thunder. Each '1000' is equal to a second. For each second delay between the lightning and thunder, we get a measure of how far away (whether out or up) the lightning is. Sound travels that much slower than light. So if there are 5 seconds between the flash of lightning and the sound of thunder, the lightning is about 5000 feet away.
Tonight sometimes there were no '1000s' between light and sound. The lightning was right here!
At one point the electricity went out. In 'the old days,' that was no big deal. We always had candles, flashlights, gas lamps, a propane camp stove, and a battery radio on hand.
And still, today, losing electricity per se is not a big deal. We still have all of those same back-ups. However, no electricity means no connection to the Internet. Now THAT is a big deal! These days.
[Photo by Barbara, Sky at 7 pm, Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 2012. Sound recorded on my iPhone and uploaded to GarageBand.]