Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Purple haze

The weather here in central Texas this week has taken a turn for the passive-aggressive.

On the one hand, it has been GORGEOUS. Cloudless skies, extremely low humidity, breezes ranging from stiff to gentle, with highs only in the 90s and morning lows around 60. And I'm here to tell you, that "dry heat" thing is not a lie. There's a world of difference between 97 degrees at 15% humidity and 97 degrees at 85% humidity, boy howdy. It's been cool enough in the morning when I drive the kids to school that I've been running the heater in my car. I know! This break from the relentless heat we've experienced since May feels like an absolute gift, and one that we have damn sure earned.

On the other hand, as you may have heard, pretty much all of Texas is literally on fire right now. We've been lucky here in our neighborhood so far, but there have been fires in every direction from where I live, some of them within 10 miles of my house and less than 2 miles from my parents' house. Like many suburbs in Texas, the neighborhoods on our end of town are surrounded by open ranch land for the most part, all of it fried a crispy brown from the heat and lack of rain (have I mentioned LESS THAN THREE INCHES ALL YEAR? and pretty much no rain at all since April?). Our recent winds and low humidity have made things so much worse, and the situation has become somewhat terrifying, if by "somewhat" you mean "a lot". It's getting so I have to talk myself through driving past these open, dessicated spaces the same way I have to talk myself through driving over really high bridges and overpasses. (I have phobias. Don't judge me.)

Today we're experiencing some sort of weather inversion thing as the result of all the cooler, drier air and apparently the smoke from all these fires is trapped at the surface in a nice little bubble over central Texas. Walking out of your house and seeing/smelling smoke when it's this dry? Terrifying. And ironically, all the smoky haze on the horizon looks just like a wall of rain coming in -- the kind of rain that falls out of a uniformly grey sky and gently soaks the earth for hours at a time. The kind of rain that we desperately need here, but there's none to be had in our forecast.

No triple-digit temperatures either, though it's a near thing.

I'm honestly not sure how to feel right now.


  1. Hope your hood and your parents' don't end up seriously threatened by the fires. We've seen the news of the fires. I'm in Kansas City and I almost turned my car heater on when I went to work this morning. Didn't, but I'll tell you what, am wearing my (yeah, it's ALMOST sexy)long sleeved ankle-length flannel nightie tonight. Brrrr.

  2. I hope you all stay safe. We call them bushfires here, and they scare me to death.

  3. Nice turn of phrase 'a turn for the passive aggressive'...

  4. Unbelievable. It is a very ominous feeling to look up in the sky and see a smoky haze. Our state has been suffering from quite a few fires, too. We have lots of rain throughout the year but our late summers are dry, dry, dry. Glad to hear you're getting some relief in the mornings.

  5. So much weather drama all over the globe. We are being deluged by rain and I have to admit I'm becoming panicky over what the snow weather will bring and how soon it will start. I am sorry you have to live with this fearful state of weather conditions. I can't imagine looking over my shoulder for fires breaking out. Big hugs to all of you!