Last Monday night, or if you are 张健 you would say in the early hours of Tuesday, a storm neither of us has experienced made its presence known in Xi’an. In Chinese, there are several ways to express the nature of this storm.
雷鸣般的闪电 – thundering and lightning
暴风雨 － tempest, thunderstorm, rainstorm, heavy storm with strong winds
雷阵雨/雷雨 － thunder shower, thunderstorm
I’ve experienced many thunderstorms in the U.S. and generally I’m not frightened by the sudden appearance of light outside my window or the abrupt acoustic effect on the Earth’s atmosphere . This thunderstorm was rather typical, with its presence of strong winds, which subsequently knocked over the bamboo plant I had next to the window. As the temperature continues to hover around 30, I had left the windows open. Heavy rain was also present, helping to significantly bring down the dog days of Xi’an’s summer. I have to go back to describing the thunder. It sounded and felt as though I was experiencing an earthquake; I perceived that the building was shaking and might momentarily collapse. Xi’an’s weather has become rather tumultuous and it now consistently rains on and off, mostly through the night. The following evening, the rainstorm was accompanied by small droplets of hail 冰雹, pitter-pattering against the slightly-ajar window. As evidence by both my own and 张健’s reaction, this weather isn’t typical of Xi’an. I will say the most advantageous result has been clearer and cleaner skies.