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Posted by on Oct 12, 2009 in Random | 8 comments

Highveld Thunderstorms – There Are None Better

3746504809_da46e6cb61Image © / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Highveld thunderstorms. Wow. Nothing like it anywhere else that I know of.

Wind whipping the branches of the mulberry tree outside my window. Sky gets dark very quickly. A flash of lightning. A roar of thunder. And then 15 minutes of pelting grape-sized hail stones.

Later. More thunder. This time off in the distance. I catch a flash or two of lightning out of the corner of my eye. Then, just as suddenly as the hail appeared earlier, the rain comes.

Driving, pounding rain. No slow gradual build-up. No drizzle first-rain later approach up here. Oh no. That pissy stuff comes after the main event, normally. Like a closing act to the main attraction.

One minute all is dandy. The next the roof is being hammered by so much water that the drains can’t seem to cope. Water cascades past the window in a near solid sheet as it rushes off the tiles and into the already water-logged garden below.

As lightning flares one last time, I notice the pathway strewn with ripe mulberries. Knocked off the branches by the hail, the wind, the rain, they dot the area all around the trunk of the tree.

And I know that the birds will feast in the morning sun tomorrow. Because you just know that the sky will be clear and the sun will blaze down tomorrow.

That’s just the way it is up here. That’s just the way we like it.

It’s times like these that I love this place. Storms like these. So powerful and all encompassing. Humbling almost. A stark reminder of just how insignificant we are in the grand scheme of things.

And with that humility, a sense of gratitude that I and my family are dry, safe and together in our home. And a sense of sadness at the realisation that there are many out there right now who are not as fortunate.


  1. Real JOBURGERS love highveld thunderstorms. A bit like living on the edge!

  2. I'm not such a big fan of the thunderstorms – they can be sort of scary sometimes. Whhat can I say? I'm a girl.

  3. I adore them, as long as I am safely indoors.

  4. Great that you're using my shot. Pls can you put a credit on the blog post in line with my creative commons terms? Thanks, Paul

    • Hi Paul

      Thanks for the heads up, and apologies for not getting it right the first time. Thought that the image tag and link from the image was what was needed. We've added the attribution link below the image – is that okay?

    • My bad – I actually spotted the use of the pic via my iPhone, and you can't see the tags from those – the tag attribution is absolutely fine, I just didn't know it was there! P

  5. Very lekker piece. The best storms are those that come at around 4pm on a really hot and cloudless day, with a sudden build up of electricity and thunder, and then that mad, pounding rain.

    • Worthy praise indeed! Thanks hugely for stopping by Gus.


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