The rain gods finally danced a bit over parts of Tucson.

It was a pink and stormy sky/Ryn Gargulinski

The winner of the rain data race was the hefty 2.2 inches that fell in the area of Pima Wash at First Avenue, according to the Pima County Regional Flood Control District website.

Second place goes to 1.34 inches that fell in the vicinity of Ruthrauff Road and La Cholla Boulevard.

Areas surrounding Davis Monthan Air Force Base received about 0.6 inches of precipitation while everyone else got 0.5 inches or fewer, with some receiving none at all.*

Although rain is a glorious thing around these parts – and sometimes even treated as actual news – it can be painful if it comes in the middle of the night coupled with thunder and lightning.

Phoebe practicing her Damien impression while crawling from the depths of hell/Ryn Gargulinski

Just ask my dog Phoebe, who turns demonic from all the light and noise.

If caught unaware, the rain pain can also turn to anguish for folks who left stuff in their backyard that gets ruined when it gets wet.

Just ask the neighbors who were moving bulky objects and swearing around 4:37 a.m.

With that in mind, it’s only right to review ways to survive a nighttime thunderstorm without losing your mind.

Move any items that can get ruined in the rain. This includes pillows, sheets, weatherproof yard art that’s not really weatherproof, radios, blow dryers and all that clean underwear on the backyard clothes line.

Move any barking dogs into the bedroom. Unfortunately, this tip came too late to salvage any modicum of sleep for anyone near Phoebe.

Once the thunder and lightning hit around 1:22 a.m., all hell broke loose. Phoebe not only barked, barked and barked some more but she shot like a bullet out of the doggie door into the yard.

There she ran around in circles, not unlike “The Omen’s” Damien who rode his tricycle in a non-stop clockwise formation all over the upstairs landing until someone fell from the landing to their immediate death.

Sawyer assessing past storm flooding/Ryn Gargulinski

Thus Phoebe and her brother dog Sawyer went into the bedroom with the velvet curtain drawn and the door clamped shut.

Unclamp the door for Sawyer. A bedroom full of two big, damp dogs gets hot and stuffy fairly quickly, even with the ceiling fan. Sawyer realized this around 1:58 a.m. and barked until he was let out.

Give Sawyer treats. Once he’s out of the bedroom, of course, Sawyer is going to want some treats. He makes this evident by sitting by the kitchen counter near the treat jars and barking until he gets some.

Get Phoebe back into the bedroom. By this time, Phoebe is back in the middle of the house, once again swirling and barking at the storm.

Give up and go outside. Hope that a fine frolic beneath the lingering sprinkling will exhaust the dogs, give you some air and make everyone want to go back to sleep.

It didn’t.

But at least lightning didn’t hit any trees or high winds rip off the rooftops. Such activities are more annoying, even, than a swirling and barking demonic dog.

*NOTE: Rainfall numbers are based on data from the previous 24 hours, ending around 5:30 a.m.


Front yard tree that was felled by lightning in 2008 storm/Ryn Gargulinski

What do you think?

Did you have a nighttime storm that made you lose sleep?

Do you have to quell barking dogs or fearful children during thunderstorms?

Do storms scare you?

Did your area get any rain or are your weeds still dying?