By Grant McGee
Clovis was blessed with a real gullywasher of a thunderstorm last Saturday night.
That’s the way it is here on the High Plains, a place of weather extremes: windy periods or periods of hot air with no movement; drought or day after day of afternoon thunderstorms; the dry line to our west, the dry line to our east.
You might admit, though, our weather extremes aren’t as bad as they are in some other places.
Take the wind, for instance.
I’ve heard folks who’ve come here from other parts of the country speak of how the winds of eastern New Mexico drive them crazy.
Friend, have you ever lived in Amarillo?
When I first arrived in Amarillo in the fall of 1992 I noticed all the trees were bent to the northeast. I supposed the winds blew from the southwest during the spring while the trees were growing.
I was wrong.
The wind blew all the time in Amarillo, mostly from the southwest. When I left the Panhandle in the summer of ’93, I’m telling you, I had this weird buzzing in my head from the constant wind.
After I left Amarillo and its wind behind, I saw an article in “USA Today” about the windiest places in America. First place went to Dodge City, Kan. Second went to a weather station atop the Berkshires in western Massachusetts.
Amarillo was rated as the third windiest place in the U.S.
Does Clovis’ summer heat bother you?
Have you ever been to Phoenix?
Summer in Phoenix is like living in a convection oven. Phoenix owes its size as a metropolitan area to air conditioning. Without it, the area might’ve been as big as Las Cruces. If you’re not acclimated to the summer heat of southern Arizona, when you walk out the doors of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport it will take your breath away.
I lived in Mesa, a suburb, and made a daily commute on my mighty scooter to downtown Phoenix. Late fall, winter and early spring aren’t too bad in The Valley of the Sun. By early May the daytime highs hit 100 and by August it could be 110, 114, 118 even 120.
Another astounding thing about Phoenix is to walk out of your place on a summer night at midnight and find the temperature is 100 degrees.
A hundred degrees at midnight!
It was maddening.
Forget this “but it’s a dry heat” stuff.
It was hot.
I would take a spray bottle to work. In the afternoon, before I went home, I’d spray myself down and get all wet. The wet clothes helped keep me cool as I flew along on my Honda 150 scooter … but I was dry within 10 minutes.
Some folks complain about the dust of Curry and Roosevelt counties. Our dust pales in comparison to the dust blows of Roswell, Chaves county and the Pecos Valley.
There’s humidity with the heat in the southern states, snows that don’t melt until spring in the north-central states, hurricanes on the east coast and the twisters in America’s “Tornado Alley.”
So think about it.
Is the weather really all that bad here in eastern New Mexico?
Grant McGee hosts the weekday morning show on KTQM-FM in Clovis. Contact him at: