A friend of Ted's postulates that they foretell the impending rainy season, when torrential thunderstorms set the arroyos to running and turn the grasses green overnight. He believes the rains will be early this year, based on the early arrival of these clouds.
The monsoon sometimes begins in June, but nobody can remember when it didn't rain on the 4th of July. April would be rather early for the wet season to start.
4/29/10 - Batton down the hatches, mates. She's blowing up a storm, but not monsoon rain as predicted by Ted's friend. Usually the view out to the north from our house in New Mexico is clear and crisp, like in the photo above. Usually the view to the south goes all the way to blue mountains way over the border in Old Mexico.
Not today. The wind has kicked up with the same roaring noises you hear during Mid-Atlantic hurricanes--but only the noise. This storm's a dry one. Dust has hazed up the sky to the north and erased the southern mountains. At times, the Whiskey Creek airport vanishes. Bob the cat comes to my desk periodically to complain. He leads me out to the southern windows and cries, "See how awful it is? Fix it!" The other two cats gave up hours ago and are napping in the bedroom with Ted, while the wind bangs on the roof-mounted heat pumps.
The second day of the 2010 Tour of the Gila bicycle race went ahead today in spite of the wind. We're waiting for our racing guest to return to find out how today's 60+ mile inner loop race went for him. The route out of the mountains at the end of the day is almost directly into the wind. The competitors will get no benefit from the downhill grade.
The wind is supposed to continue all night and into tomorrow, bringing cold rain.