Every summer – northern hemisphere summer that is – we see the monsoon-driven rainfall around the globe.
There is a southwest monsoon in the US, affecting southern California, Arizona and New Mexico. The better-known and far bigger Asian monsoon system affects all countries from Oman through Pakistan to Japan.
Annual flooding is expected and often used as a trigger for the agricultural cycle – for example, rice planting in paddy fields. There are always areas that have a spell of enhanced rain and worse than usual flooding. These meteorological perturbations, when combined with increased global warmth, can be devastating.
This year, it has been the unfortunate turn of Japan to see widespread and destructive flooding. There will likely be other parts of Asia that see unusually destructive rains as the season has another two months to run.
Generally speaking, the monsoon rains are welcomed and the inconvenience dealt with as a matter of course. The mighty Yangtse River that runs from the Tibetan Plateau to Shanghai, drains 20 percent of China‘s water and floods annually. The Chinese are used to it.
But with the rains come some spectacular skies full of developing and mature thunderhead clouds – an artist’s delight.
Winter thunderstorms take on the same shape, albeit in a rather squatter manner.
Melbourne, Australia, has enjoyed the benefits of a warm wind in advance of stormy skies – with the kite-surfers being the beneficiaries.
Here is a combination of images pictures from mid-July.