Kandahar Air Field is located, for all intents and purposes, in a desert. The main city, a few miles away, is close to a river so there is water near the population center, but it's pretty dry at the Air Field most of the year. Not so much in February, though. We have entered what is called the monsoon season, and things have gotten a bit unpredictable. The cold temperatures have let up a little bit, but the shifting currents and fronts in the past several days have created some wild temperature swings at times. And there's the rain. For the past few weeks, we've had some sporadic rain, which changes the ground from being very dusty to very muddy. A couple of nights ago, we had steady rain all through the night but sun the next afternoon. KAF is covered in standing water, and we've all been notified that, due to the mud and water, vehicle use has been restricted to essential use only.
Last night (Saturday, 12 February) there was constant rain. This morning, I was surprised to discover that it was bright and sunny when I went to breakfast, and I had high hopes that some of the mud would dry up today. Right before I left for work, the floodgates opened and we had a downpour. With HAIL. And swirling winds. I was being pelted by small ice fragments all the way to our rehearsal tent. It did cross my mind that maybe I should have worn my helmet! I would have missed it all if I'd left ten minutes earlier, so that's another mark in the "reasons to not procrastinate" column. And about eight minutes after it started, the storm stopped. The sun came out. The Dixieland group ("Task Force Dixie") decided to go ahead with preparations for their afternoon concert at the boardwalk.
But the weather wasn't done yet. A little before 1500 (3:00 pm), another dark cloud opened up and more rain and wind came down. I reconsidered going to the boardwalk to see TFD and decided to stay in the tent and continue practicing my trombone. The Dixie group eventually returned early, having only played two numbers in their set before the inclement weather forced them back to the tent with their gear. Sure enough, by the time I left to go check my email at the office, the sun was back out.
One thing about monsoon season at KAF: it does keep you guessing.