Downpour | Mexico | Living in Mexico

Downpour

San Miguel de Allende receives about the same amount of rain as Silicon Valley; i. e., not much. But the rain comes much differently. Our rainy season begins in June and ends in October, more or less. We rarely get full days of rain. Instead, we get short, violent thunderstorms. Two inches of rain can fall in 20 minutes, followed by blue skies and puffy white clouds. One such downpour occurred yesterday.

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Rain and hail poured down. Lightning flashed. Thunder boomed.

The flat roofs of Mexican buildings are drained through canales—pipes or channels that reach out over the streets. In the picture, at least one is visible, spewing water like a fire hose. The first time you drive under one, you think the car roof is going to cave in.

The compact umbrella I carry in my backpack quickly collapsed under the downpour, so I joined a crowd sheltering under an arcade.

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We don't have storm drains. Rain water is carried away in the cobblestone streets. So much water cascades down the mountainside on which San Miguel is built that soon the streets are flooded.

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Plazas fill with water, pouring down pathways and steps.

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To reach my house, I needed to cross the Jardin, our main square. But all of the streets surrounding the arcade ran with a foot of water, even after the thunderstorm had passed. So I waited some more, and watched other similarly stranded people.

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The benefits of our rain pattern:

1) We experience sunshine every day.
2) Our rain comes in brief spurts. Swoosh, and it's over.
3) The lightning and thunder show is entertaining.
4) In late summer, the countryside is green and full of wildflowers.
5) Streets are swept clean of debris.
6) While waiting for storms to clear, we spend a pleasant half-hour visiting with our neighbors.
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