Friday, September 3, 2010

Friday afternoon chubasco: forty degree drop in four miles

First of all, a definition of chubasco:
Chubasco in standard Spanish means any rain shower associated with heavy wind or, in nautical usage, a dark cloud which suddenly appears in the horizon, potentially foretelling rough sailing conditions (Diccionario de la Lengua Española, Real Academia Española).

More commonly here in southern AZ, the expression 'monsoon storm' is used...
This afternoon, as I drove home from work, I drove into one.

When I got into my car, the thermometer read 108 degrees--hot on the asphalt in the parking lot...
A mere four miles to the east, a few minutes later, while my windshield wipers were frantically at work, the temperature had dropped to 67 degrees! Amazing.

Just a couple of miles more, and then I drove out of the squall and rolled my windows down--wow, COOL air on a Friday afternoon in Tucson...

I was on my way to Saguaro National Park East--time to renew my annual pass--and just in time before next Monday's Saguaro National Park Labor Day 8-miler.
I drove the loop before heading home and took a few photos with my phone-camera:

--javelinas at the visitor's center:

...a few late summer wildflowers among the saguaros...

--looking west from the the higher hills on the loop road, across the Tucson basin under a rainy sky:
(click for a larger view)

...barrel cactus in bloom:

...back at the visitor's center--gives you an idea of the terrain of the Park and the Rincon Mountains,
with the arrow pointing out the 8-mile loop...
...looking forward to Monday's run--supposed to be the largest number of registered runners ever for this event...

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