No, not here. In Buenos Aires the temperature is close to zero and it’s cloudy and windy. But the UK is still baking in the unusually high 20s and early 30s. Thunderstorms are forecast and this is major news. At a quick count, fifty percent of status updates on my FB page were weather-related: praying for rain, counting the rumbles of thunder and lightning in the distance, detailing the length of time the clouds opened…. “Its going to rain tonight! Don’t think I have ever been so excited about rain before!”
I felt exactly like this in the UK. On the rare occasion of a truly hot summer, when sleeping in sticky heat made you crazy (practically no one has air conditioning), and completing daily tasks was like walking through tepid soup covered in cling film, I watched the skies with the same fervent anticipation. Thunderstorms broke the weather and brought relief, naturally, but they were also rare. An occasion to drop everything and pull back the curtains to watch, fascinated.
I still feel that rush of adrenalin when I hear the first boom of thunder in the distance. The spike of heat and the deadening stillness before the swift darkening of the sky into mauve and maroon, midnight grey with streaks of electric green; even pitch black at midday.
But thunderstorms in Argentina generate different emotions and many people here don’t share that sense of excitement. We have many more of them here than the UK, for a start. We even have thunderstorms in winter, which to me is weird and somewhat unnatural. Thunderstorms also tend to bring so much rain the streets are flooded, transport is disrupted and houses damaged. On occasions thunder signifies a terrible storm that causes significant disruption. It’s hard to look forward to something that makes your life that much more difficult.
Despite all this I can’t shake the thrill thunder and lightning bring. I have a sky-watching obsession when storm clouds mass on the horizon, just like my friends in the UK. Facebook forecast: fifty percent chance of Instagrams of dark skies and lightning by the end of the week.