#412 The air just before a thunderstorm

Warm wind whips and whistles down the streets sending cigarette butts, crumpled receipts, and dry leaves swirling in all directions.  Specks of dust glow in deep sunbeam tints as dark clouds shuffle in the sky. There’s a warm and wet sense of electric anticipation as lightning bolts flash silently in the distance, dogs bark in the background, and everyone races for cover.

You hear the nylon swish of umbrellas popping open, the scrape of plastic chairs dragging across patios, and the adrenaline buzzing before the first big boom.

Here come the jumbo drops.


Photo from: here

40 thoughts on “#412 The air just before a thunderstorm

    1. The photo of the “air just before a thunderstorm” is the background on my iPod. I was like, !!!!!!!!!!!!.

      And remember everyone, anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

      I think that should be #1001. Like, we passed 1000, we don’t care, because anything worth doing is worth overdoing. Seriously Neil, #1001.

  1. OMG! I really love this one… Just watching the lightning strike across the sky… so beautiful. Also the smell of the air just before the rain starts pouring… such a lovely scent. =)

  2. This really is awesome. Thunderstorms are one of nature’s most beautiful events. They can come out of nowhere and disappear again within minutes.

  3. Yes! I love storms and the change in atmosphere before they occur. Also, you have to be sure to run outside after the rain starts to catch some of that rain-on-a-hot-sidewalk smell (#937). I experienced both of these last night and it was great. :)

  4. I love thunderstorms. I love to sit and watch the lightning, listen to the thunder and the rain, I love it all. The smell before a good storm is great. My daughter acutally said the other day, “It smells like its going to rain.” I love that she knows that smell already.

  5. I am reading this as an amazing thunderstorm is going on outside. Such a timely awesome thing for everyone in Toronto today.

  6. We actually don’t get a lot of thunderstorms where I live, but I always love it when we do get one. Although most of my friends are scared when that happens xD

    btw, this is beautifully written. I’m glad to see someone understands that feeling of tranquility a thunderstorm can give.

  7. This is truly awesome. I was in Illinois in 2008 and sat outside on my best friend’s porch and watched the storm roll in, and I felt at ease. It’s amazing the calmness a crazy storm can bring.

  8. This is one of my most favorite things about summer.

    On a related note, a truly rare (but TOTALLY AWESOME) event is a winter thuderstorm that causes huge snow. Hearing the rumble of thunder in grey skies with huge flakes coming down!

  9. This is even better in Upstate NY. The smell of the rain mingles with the smell of pine trees, grass, and according to my cousin, graham crackers. I was once sleeping facing an open window while it was raining there, and I thought in my sleep ‘Whoa, that smells good.’

  10. I just gotta send up some mad props for that photo.. I mean, seriously.. it is gorgeous..

    Hey commenter folks – If you haven’t done so already, you really need to go check it out in big, here: http://wvs.topleftpixel.com/08/08/18/

    We don’t get many thunderstorms where I live, but I would love, love, love to see something that looks like that photo..

    Great post, Neil..

    1. I have a great-aunt who moved to California from Missouri years ago, and whenever she comes to visit (rarely), she always hopes so badly to be here during a thunderstorm. She said it’s one of the things she misses the most.

      P.S. You’re right! That picture is stunning.

  11. During the first thunderstorm of the school year I always turn out the lights and read Patricia Polacco’s book “Thundercake” to my class. It is the most wonderful book and as the lightning crackles around us and the thunder shakes the sky, we revel in her beautiful story. Awesome!

  12. I love it so much. I can’t get enough of storms, really. :D My parents think I’m so weird but I’ve broken bones so many times that I can actually predict when it’s going to rain because my bones start hurting from the humidity. Usually I’m right. haha.

  13. Nice description!

    I live in Tampa: The Lightning Capital of the World. No kidding. And I see why it got that name. We get some good storms, especially in mid summer.

    And I could swear that said storms center right over my place!!

  14. Ah yes! The asphalt has smell that reminds me of my childhood. You know those days when kids were water-proof? Now as an adult I run to my car like Roberto Alomar stealing home…

  15. Where we live, it gets so hot and humid. I love the air before, during and after the storm, especially if there’s enough rain to cool the air and soak the earth. Nearly every summer we have very scarey forest fires!
    We had a good storm this week and it looked a lot like the photo, awesome:)

  16. That’s so true!!!!!! I love sitting out on the back porch swing, getting lightly sprinkled by the water, and nose buried in a good book. And the smell is awesome too. I don’t know how to describe it…I guess if humidity had a smell, that would be it.
    I mean, I love being out in the sticky air, reading something good or maybe writing, and taking in the sweet aroma of the rain.
    Beautiful picture by the way. <3

  17. There is nothing compared to this. Specially on a summer afternoon, when you have been feeling hot all day. First, the sun goes away and you start feeling the breeze and after that the smell of rain. Then you go to your window and see the gray clouds, listen to the storms before start raining. And even if the rain lasts only 10 minutes, what you feel before worth it and for sure your hot day will end up less stressful and somehow refreshing.

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