I thought I was going to drown.
While Seattle is known for rain, most of the time what he actually experience is overcast days, with occasional scattered misting. We very, very seldom have downpours. Even the heavier showers tend to be intermittent and scattered.
But about once every winter I get caught in a true downpour that soaks through my waterproofed leather coat, and all the layers underneath.
Last night it happened early in my walk home. When I stepped outside the office building, it was barely drizzling. Three blocks later I pulled the hood of my coat over my head, as the hat was no longer enough. Then, four blocks further, it was as if angels in the sky above had aimed a bunch of firehoses right at me.
The first mile or so of my walk home is along our waterfront. Not right on it, a block away, so that about half the time there is a building between me and the open air. The deluge hit when I was on a two or three block section where there is nothing but lawn and train tracks sheilding me.
The wind was coming off the water.
Even in the height of summer, the Puget Sound only gets a bit less frigid than ice water. This time of year, the water is maybe a degree above freezing. So any breeze coming off of it is like an arctic blast.
Rain starts out high up in the sky as ice crystals. They warm up as the fall, turning into droplets of ice water. In really warm weather they may get all the way up to cool and refreshing, but this time of year, I suspect that they are only about a billionth of a degree above freezing when they reach a hapless pedestrian on the ground.
So I was being hammered by nearly frozen water. Each droplet sucking heat from me, while the cross-breeze was doing its best to finish the job and turn me into a popsicle.
And there wasn’t really any place for me to go to get out of the rain. What buildings were nearby were mostly office complexes. So I moved as fast as I could.
I decided, once I had reached the halfway mark, when my walking route meets up with a bus line, to take shelter in the bus shelter(!) and wait for a bus.
The thinng that worries me about this, is that this is the second deluge I’ve experienced this year. And December is tradionally a month where we dry out a bit after the heavy rains of November, before the heavy rains of January.
I’m getting a bad feeling about this winter’s weather.