There is a coal-fired power plant in Windhoek and individual fires that take place nearly every day. With such a giant disparity between have and have-nots here, poor people use fires for both warmth and cooking. That all can lead to days like this:
There are a couple of pleasant by-products of the haze. Since it’s nearly always present, the colors of sunrises
|Sunrise in haze|
and sunsets can be amazing.
|Sunset in haze|
Amazingly, on the morning after the first fire, the air was clear above Windhoek
with the exception of a fire still burning behind a hill closest to town.
The only explanation I have for this invokes some of my ancient chemistry knowledge that like dissolves like!
But two days later, the skies were back to their hazed norm.
Then on September 30, finally, a weather pattern I recognized started to form to the south.
Once it really got underway,
there was no denying that this was one significant rain. It poured for about 30 minutes solid. The professor, who has rural Oklahoma roots in his lineage, refers to rains like these as frog stranglers. Perhaps if it wasn’t so desiccated here, making the likelihood of a frog completely out of the question, this particular rain had what it took to strangle frogs beyond number.
The professor’s students were really excited the next morning, telling him how happy they were to see the rain. Not a drop had fallen since February 1, 2010 – a full 8 months without rain!
But then, the morning after, this was the sky above Windhoek.
Apparently rain doesn’t dissolve this haze.
How it survived that rain is beyond me.