Weird Weather in the Tropics: It’s Raining Indoors

I’m pretty sure there used to be a mountain in the distance. (all photos AvaMingImages)

I leapt out of bed this morning convinced that just because today was March 18 and not really for any other reason, the sun would again beam down on South China and Spring would have finally sprung.

Well, call me stupid.

I stood on my tiny balcony facing yet another wall of thick, smoggy, low cloud that covered the neighbouring mountain and hid buildings over ten floors high, questioning for the fourth time in as many days if I was somehow, actually back in England.

I even considered that maybe all the Chinese people around me were hired actors on a simulated Chinese sound stage complete with businesses, schools, restaurants, traffic, babies and old people. Somebody would shout ‘cut!’the set would disappear and I’d be faced with the real scenery of Birmingham, UK.

What? It could happen.

Normally by now, on the south coast, we’re into consistent t-shirt wearing weather, laughing at our northern neighbours some of whom are still fighting snow,  but this year I’m wandering around in leggings and a fleece jacket (A fleece! In March! In the tropics!) and even turning on the heater for a couple of hours in the evening.

Dameisha Beach, Shenzhen in the height of summer when the sand burns your soles and people seek shelter under the huge canopy. But just check out that bright sunlight and beautiful blue sky!

Today we had to deal with a weird, indoor wet weather phenomenon which happens once or twice a year.

It occurs when temperatures rise dramatically and suddenly. In this case from 12-24 degrees celsius overnight. But with a thick layer of cloud and no sun, the humidity has also significantly increased.

This means that the common areas of some buildings, probably because of the way they were built or the materials used to build them I’m not sure which, end up with soaking wet interior floors and walls.

As you slide along the corridors in half an inch of water, it’s literally as if it’s been raining inside, even though outside remains dry. Cloudy, humid and uncomfortable, but dry.

The corridor in my apartment building. Wet floors and walls caused by humidity, fast rising temperature and no sun!

When I lived in a previous apartment on the other side of Shenzhen, I had to blow-dry my clothes before wearing them as the interior of the cupboards, wardrobes and even my suitcase were also damp due to this weather anomaly.

From memory I think this indoor wetness will be over in a couple of days, thank goodness. After which, hopefully we’ll get some sun and I can complain about how much I’m sweating to my friends who are still freezing in Beijing or somewhere even further north where summer doesn’t start until May. (-:

In the meantime it’s certainly another odd side of living in tropical China.



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