November is finally kicking into full swing and the cold is upon us. After a month of teasing us with relatively mild temperatures, Autumn has turned the corner.
Summer in the South is marked with intensity. Whether it’s intense heat, intense humidity or intense thunderstorms; summers here are characterized by extremes. That also goes for a simple rainstorm.
In the Summer, rain rarely falls lightly or all day. Storm clouds form in a matter of minutes and drop gallons of water in the blink of an eye. Growing up, I always called it Baseball Rain.
Why? Because it was the type of rain that fell during baseball season. Baseball Rain has many distinct characteristics.
Storms almost always form quickly and aren’t very predictable. In the last twenty years, weather models and measurement tools have become much more advanced so predicting them has greatly improved. But they still can pop up out of nowhere very fast and without warning.
These storms are usually localized, meaning they don’t cover too much land area. You can literally get drenched while your neighbor across the street stays completely dry. And more importantly, it can be raining at your house but still be nice at the baseball field.
Baseball Rain is usually hard and fast. You get soaked but five minutes later, the sun is back out beating down on you with ninety degree heat. Add 100% humidity to that and you have a scorcher. And if Baseball Rain hits the baseball field, all it probably did was settle the dust. So chances are that the game isn’t rained out.
Baseball Rain is also usually associated with lightning and thunder. The big booming kind of thunder that jumps on you milliseconds after the lightning has flashed, literally scaring you so bad you have to retie your shoes. It’s so intense that you hold your breath and wait to see if you’re still alive before moving.
There are always anomalies, of course. Once in a while, you’ll get hit with that three-day rainstorm that drops a foot of water and swells the creeks and rivers. Flooding occurs and road are threatened and you wonder why you don’t own a bigger umbrella. But those storms are rare, usually you get Baseball Rain.
Now, in the middle of November, Baseball Rain has faded. It’s a product of a different season, not to be recalled until we’re once again threatened with ninety degree weather and opening day. Cold rainy weather is on the radar, approaching with the kind of chill that sets into your bones and refuses to leave till the aroma of wood smoke begins to dissipate. Baseball Rain is gone again … until next year.