Monday, May 02, 2011

Reliable As The Weather in Hawai'i

People always think I'm kidding when I tell them it snows regularly in Hawaii. It does in fact snow regularly up at the summits of Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea (altitude 15,000 feet, give or take)....however not usually at my house (3,450 ft above sea level).

Today I was swimming at the Pukalani Pool (altitude 1,500 ft give or take), the air temp was about 80 degrees and the sky was partly cloudy. I was zoned out to the tunes on my SwimP3 player and had done about 2 km. As I went into a flip turn, I felt something bang against my legs. I stopped and there was a lifeguard standing over me. "Yo brah, we closin' da pool, dare's lightnin' & thundah".

This is a common ploy. There's a rule at the County pools - when the lifeguards hear thunder or see lightning, they are required to get everyone out of the pool and close the pool deck for 30 minutes. This is very convenient for, say, when they want to go out to the baseball field and smoke a quick joint, or hit Starbucks across the street. I looked up and was surprised to find there actually were some black clouds around, and even some thunder, which is extremely unusual. Hailing from Florida, where a day without lightning and thunder is unusual, lightning is so unusual in Hawaii that it usually makes the newspaper.

I packed up my crap and drove home.

Ten minutes after I got home, a wicked hailstorm started up. A hailstorm as vicious as any I saw in the 20-odd years I lived in Florida.

I even have the photos and the video to prove it.

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