Ghost mountains of the swamp

How hot it hot?

If you’ve ever been caught downwind of a Santa Ana you’d know.

I haven’t, but:

Just a few days ago in the swamp I battled it out in the mid-afternoon sauna of a chinook-style wind.

This wasn’t your typical “sliding down the back side of the Cascades” torrent of air to be sure,

And how could it be?

The swamp doesn’t have any hills, let alone mountains – right?

Or does it?

Sopping wet with humidity and simultaneously scorched, this wind – born from the sea – skimmed with solemn certainty across the swamp’s tepid shallows (say, just around face high) on a death march towards the gravitational pull of its inevitable end:

I turned to the east and stared into it straight on:

Stack after stack of towering cumulonimbus clouds – pure white and cauliflowering – miles high into the sky.

Down bursts from the same cloud are refreshingly cool – a gift of sorts from the high altitudinal gods – if also drenched with the menace of electrical fury and Biblical rains.

Not so for the low-altitudinal feeder bands of swamp soaked air that fuel these ghostly meteorologic mountains:

Swamp chinooks are similar to the gust of “canned heat” you get when you open the oven to check if an apple pie is fully baked …

Only in this case there’s no door to shut closed –

The sopping scorched air just keeps on marching.

No mountains in the swamps?

Ha! Only to the uninitiated.

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