Saturday, March 10, 2012

The 299th good thing about Lagos: Harmattan seems to be over

Because of our return to Lagos later in January this year, we missed the worst of the Harmattan.  Before we returned there were lots of pictures and complaints from friends in Lagos during the strike, who were dealing, not only with being homebound, but views like this from their windows.   I took this picture from a friend's apartment on the island of Ikoyi, which has more trees than our neighboring Victoria Island.  The view from my window is not of dusty green trees, but dusty city street. 

The Harmattan is a seasonal weather pattern where the winds come from the north and bring dust from the Sahara.  The haze blocks the sun, so the temperatures tend to be cooler.  But heavy dust in the air brings breathing problems.  Trees and everything outside keep a coating of dust until the occasional thunderstorm clears the dust away for a short time.  Harmattan was still here through most of February, but we seem to be mostly past it now.  The temperatures are heating up and we have clearer skies.

We did have a really freak storm a couple of weeks ago that seemed almost like a tornado.  It had very strong and tightly concentrated winds.  Banana Island, which is an extension of Ikoyi, was heavily hit.  Friends had windows blown out of their high rise apartment.  A neighbor was hurt by flying glass.  Roofs were blown off, trees were knocked down, someone had their patio furniture blown away off their balcony and never to be seen again.  There were some fatalities -- people on a boat and someone being hit by a falling light pole.  There was crazy damage in some areas, but, though we were very close as the crow flies, we had maybe a sprinkle of rain and no wind disturbed the light resin pool furniture.

Crazy weather all over the world right now it seems, but for today in Lagos it is hot and calm and I'm off to shop at a charity bazaar.

Hope March's weather is more lamb-like than lion-like where you are! 

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