Cape Town's winter has begun.
Storm clouds over Table Mountain
We've had drought conditions here in Cape Town since last winter when we did not get our normal quota of winter rain.
To save water restrictions have been placed on us and gardens have suffered terribly because of the restrictions.
Because of the drought a brand new industry has sprung up in Cape Town.
Every houseowner has decided to put down a wellpoint to keep his garden alive.
Fortunately I got in early and had my wellpoint done a year or two ago which allowed me to water quite freely while others were restricted.
Unfortunately as the drought got worse so the underwater supplies also got scarcer, so much so that where I could water for an hour before the pump started sucking air it did that after about five minutes in the last week or two.
To make matters worse the levels of the dams deteriorated as well and were down to about 27% at the beginning of this last weekend.
Cape Town was desperate for water and one could feel the mood of the people as rain clouds gathered over Cape Town only to be blown away again without a drop of rain falling.
This weekend a south east gale came up, normally this is a summer wind and does not bring rain.
With this wind the thunder clouds started to gather and on Sunday afternoon we had a short sharp shower of rain which came in from the east and not from the north as it normally does.
Shortly afterwards the clouds once again blew away and we thought that the rain had gone again.
An hour or two later the clouds started to build up again and as it got dark Cape Town experienced the most wonderful thunder storm.
Cape Town seldom experiences thunder so you will find most Capetonians and their dogs hiding under their beds as the thunder and lightning crashes overhead.
At times the whole of the sky was alight and here and there fork lightning stabbed groundwards as the storm raged.
With the storm came the rain.
Lovely hard rain that teemed down and lashed the parched earth.
Gutters were soon full and streets became rivers as stormwater drains took strain from the downpour.
The good news is that the storm raged for hours and that this morning (Monday 11th April 2005) it is still raining.
Maybe we are going to have a good winter this year and get our full quota of rain.
The best of all is the feeling one gets when you step outside after the rain has stopped.
The parched earth looks green instead of brown and everything just comes alive when it gets a bit of water.
After such a long and hard summer I am sure Capetonians are all rejoicing this morning, even if it took them hours longer than normal to get to work because of some of the flooded roads.
On behalf of Cape Town I say thank you to God for the rain.
He knows exactly when to bless his people.
Visit the turtlesa website for more photos
Ps These storms were very severe and brought about large scale flooding in the Bredasdorp Cape Agulhas area.