June 4th, 2015

Elinor Dashwood

Dark clouds, chill air -- Climate change


The weather is different. The past few days 90+ degrees and high humidity was the usual June misery, but early last evening the usual rolling, rumbling thunder was followed by a "torrential downpour": doused the house. Like house in middle of intense waterfall. After which no internet, no TV, no cell phone. By 11:15 Comcast had re-established connectivity and the outage was over but this morning the predicted high 68 degrees and the same for several days. Still very humid and
yet very cool. Not really like the effects of the squalls we used to have -- it would return to heat and water not so intense. I watched appropriately enough (electricity not out) Nick Cave's The Proposition, intense movie set in 19th century Australian outback (Ray Winston, Emily Watson, Danny Huston, John Hurt &c&c), about settler colonialism, savage conflicts but what I was impressed by and was meant to be was the climate -- supreme heat at the time of filming and used in film.

Now we have had several days of actually cold weather. I needed a jacket or sweater; while when I asked people who have lived in Virginia for more years than and i and if they remembered such a spell, I got the usual silence, one friend did say she did not remember several June days genuinely cold before. The heat will return, and this humidity (for it's damp) become part of the usual skin-crawling discomfort -- against which I not only keep the central air-conditioning on, but shower a couple of times a day. But I shall remember this time as slightly haunting because the weather felt like that described by Margaret Ollphant in her unforgettable Beleaguered City.