Cooling Off / 14ymedio, Luzbely Escobar

Boys bathing in the rain in Havana. (14ymedio)
Boys bathing in the rain in Havana. (14ymedio)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Luzbely Escobar, Havana, 21 June 2016 — With the coming of summer the evening downpours are back. Almost daily, in the evening, the sky is loaded with black clouds about to burst. Sometimes we get the “deluge” and sometimes not. When it happens, invariably the boys in the neighborhood come out together to have fun in the rain.

Most of the students in the country are on vacation in these weeks, and don’t miss an opportunity to play soccer or baseball on any corner. When the downpour comes, instead of trying to find shelter under a roof, they walk the streets looking for puddles to splash in and enjoying everything falling from the sky.

The heat of recent weeks has been very intense, a bath in the cool rain in the afternoon fits these young people like a soft glove. However, for those coming from work it becomes a headache to return home after the workday.

This year is competing with 2015, which was classified as the warmest of the last six decades. In different localities, the thermometers have reached figures greater than 99F, as was the case in the village of Velazco, where the temperature reached almost 102F.

This historical average, which was 77.9 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the Climate Center of the Meteorology Institute, was surpassed last year at 1.8 degrees. The phenomenon is related to El Niño, along with the process of global warming.

These late afternoon rains do not occur only in the capital. Yesterday’s rainfall record occurred in Manzanillo, a municipality in the east. This area has been affected in recent months by a severe drought, so any rain is very well received, by both residents and reservoirs.

While the more conservative remain indoors, looking to mitigate the effects of the dog days of summer with the air of a fan or a refreshing drink, the more daring take advantage of the downpours to counter the high temperatures.