I've started seeing pictures and hearing stories from friends and family about snow and freezing temps in the US. Meanwhile here in the sandbox, it's become glorious outside after a long sweaty summer. I'm not trying to gloat (much). This is our reward for surviving months of swampy heat, humidity and bad hair days. Most people are pretty surprised when I mention the humidity. I was surprised when by it when I started looking into living here. I guess it's due to living on the Arabian Gulf. We get so much humidity, actually, that sometimes we have fog.
We also get rain, kind of infrequently, but it's not unheard of and actually, rainy days are on the rise due to a program of cloud seeding. I'd heard of cloud seeding schemes only as a hoax used to swindle desperate farmers out of the last of their money during the dust bowl days in the US but apparently the technology has come a long way. The UAE has a Cloud Seeding Operations Section at the National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology and, for the past 15 years, has been using primarily salts and/or trace amounts of silver iodide to make it rain up in here (more often out in the emirates closer to the mountains where they have dams and reservoirs to fill.). They need a good shaped cloud to start with and the right updraft conditions, then they send the pilots up to shoot up the clouds. Kinda cool, even if I don't much like precipitation.
Another weather-ish phenomena we get is the sandstorm! Now I've seem Lawrence of Arabia, The Mummy, and the Mission Impossible movie set in Dubai and I expected a Hollywood style wall of sand, roiling it's way toward the city. I was both relieved and a little disappointed to witness my first sandstorm. I had to clarify with several people, "So is this a sandstorm, then?" when I looked outside and the sky was kind of yellowish green and gritty looking. I did see one sort of roll in from the desert from my apartment balcony one day. It wasn't a wall but there was clearly blue sky in one direction and not in the other... and then the not-blue-sky bits just kind of expanded. The picture on the left is more or less the same view as the picture on the right, just in the middle of a sandstorm. Looks a little like the fog, huh? It's thicker and dirtier and leaves behind more of a mess.
But this past month, no rain, no fog, no sandstorms and big drops in humidity. It's beach weather by day, sitting out by the creek weather at night. This is the season to visit, my friends!