I love weather. I’m a weather nerd. I spend way too much time on weather-related websites, tracking storms on the radar maps and reading about emerging weather patterns. The hurricanes in the U.S., while awful and devastating, were fascinating to read about. (Check out what Jose Andres is doing in Puerto Rico, by the way. It’s inspiring!) I’ll admit, it was a little weird and maybe depressing to be here all summer long. Not only was there very little to do, and almost all of the other expats with kids left all summer, but the weather was pretty boring. It was grey and mild. It never rained. For months. I was very excited for the rainy season to start, if only for the variation.
The dry season usually lasts from about June-September. It may rain in late September, but the real rainy season starts in October. October, November, and December are very wet and hot, then it lets up a bit in January and February, followed by a short rainy season in March and April, drying out again in May for the long dry season.
This rainy season has been a bit weird. It rained in mid-September, about two weeks too early, even for the early rains. Now it’s the middle of October, and we’ve only had two rainy days. The average is 26 rainy days in October, and 5+ inches of rain (10 inches of rain on average in November). I looked up the stats from the last few years, and it looks like October was much drier than normal in 2015 and 2016.
Congo has a sizable agricultural sector, and most of the farmers are small-holder farms. Not being able to predict the drastic weather changes can be devastating for these communities.
On the plus side, we have a sizable leak in our ceiling that hasn’t been fixed yet. Luckily for us, it hasn’t rained in the two weeks since the hole formed, so we haven’t had to mop up puddles of water in the living room since then. It might rain tomorrow, though! Let’s hope our roof gets fixed in the morning.
When it does rain here, the city transforms in a muddy, puddle-y mess. Some streets and neighborhoods are better drained than others. The major streets are ok, the side streets and dirt roads are not great, The roads near Lily’s school, for example, are treacherous. When it last rained, it poured rain for hours early in the morning. The rain was incredibly loud on our metal roof. Lily woke up and asked why the fans were all on so loud? We had to explain that metal roofs made the rain sound extra loud. In the night, though, it is rather pleasant, like a white noise machine. Right after the big rain, we were visited by several frogs in our garden. The frogs stuck around for a few nights. They were just common green and black frogs*, but perhaps the loudest creatures, comparative to size, I’ve ever heard. One took a dip in our pool, but couldn’t get out; Ben fished it out (still alive) with the pool skimmer. Lucky frog!
*They look exactly like common leopard frogs, but wikipedia says that leopard frogs only live in North America. Any frog experts out there? There is one in the middle of this photo: