Archive for the ‘Weather’ Category


Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

The rainy season is due to start in Rwanda in mid-September. There hasn’t been any rain since April. This has been the longest dry season in living memory. It was lovely and hot and dry this morning when I left the house. But this afternoon, while sitting in a lovely coffee shop in a lovely bookshop with a lovely view of Kigali writing blog posts about my morning at the Genocide Memorial the rainy season started.

All of the rain in the world has thrown itself against the windows. Black clouds have blown past obscuring the distant hills. The sun set at some point. I can hear myself think again and I can see the lights of the buildings on the hill opposite so the worst of this deluge may have just passed. Though the tinkling on the tin roof and the distant rumbles of thunder make me think this may just be a temporary reprieve.

You Know It’s Hot When …

Sunday, June 15th, 2014

The monsoon has now hit Kerala. And that means it is not as hot as it was the week before last. Not that highs of 29 are exactly cold! But two weeks ago was summer.

The weather here in Kerala in summer is hot. And humid. Lows of about 27 degrees and highs of about 34 degrees. Humidity is about 70%, except of course when it’s actually raining. One day at about 1pm my phone was telling me that it was 32 degrees. It also told me that the RealFeel temperature was 41 degrees. I don’t know what that means, but it makes the number bigger, so I’m going to run with it. 🙂

I know that many of you reading this have been in places where it has been hot. Some much hotter than the weather here. I also know that many of you won’t. So here’s a handy guide to help you figure out if it is hot.

  • You’ve just had a cold shower and as soon as you finish drying yourself you realise you’re already covered in a light sheen of sweat.
  • It is 8 in the morning. You have just walked very slowly to class (about a 5 min walk). You are standing still in the shade. Rivulets of sweat are running down your back, down your cleavage, down the inside of your knees, down your temples, down the backs of your ears. The ends of your hair are wet.
  • You wake up at 3am feeling slightly chilly (the fan has been on all night and there has been a thunderstorm with lots of rain) so you turn off the fan and cover yourself with the bedsheet. 30 mins later, you wake up again because it’s too hot to sleep, the clothes you’re wearing in bed are now sticking to you. You put the fan back on.
  • The veins on your feet are sticking out as they desperately try to release heat from the bloodstream.
  • You stand under a cold shower and the water running off your head is several degrees warmer than the water coming straight from the tap.
  • You have talcum powder and you use it. In fact, just thinking about it brings an immediate sigh of relief (chafing: need I say more?).
  • You realise that the reason why Darwin invented eyebrows was to funnel sweat off your forehead and towards your temples. You also realise that even the bushiest, most natural eyebrows have their limits and when they are breached the sweat runs straight into your eyes. Needless to say, this isn’t pleasant.

Sri Lankan Rain

Sunday, December 23rd, 2012

Sometimes when it rains in Sri Lanka it rains a nice, measured, delicate rain. Usually not.

At the time of writing this in Eheliyagoda we are getting rain each afternoon. The mornings tend to be hot, sunny, humid. At about 2pm ish the heavens open and it buckets down.

Here is a video of the rain out my window. Note the noise.


You can’t really do much when it is raining like this. Going out in it isn’t particularly pleasant. Phone calls are not a good idea. Even talking to people in the same room is difficult.

The roads flood. Three wheelers put the canvass side coverings up. People walk around with umbrellas (which don’t do very much). People get wet. The rivers rise. The storms interrupt phone signal and sometimes there are power cuts.

But tomorrow morning, the roads will be bone dry. The air will be hot. All of the rain from today will be evaporating ready to return to earth again tomorrow afternoon.

Post script: after writing this, the rain continued as heavily for several more days. Sometimes starting earlier. This meant there wasn’t enough time for the water to evaporate. So there were floods. Quite major floods in many places. I wasn’t directly affected, though a school I was visiting closed early so that the students could get home before the roads closed and the next day many schools were closed or had very few students. The road that one of the volunteers lives on flooded, but it was still passable in a three wheeler. Her house was ok being up the hill a little bit. This seems to be unseasonal weather. Last year at this time of the year it was hot and dry. The previous year it was incredibly wet. It doesn’t normally rain at this time of the year. But the climate has been unpredictable for several years.