There is never snow or really cold weather in this part of the world, but there is definitely a winter season in central Vietnam. It is characterized by rain, overcast days, and the occasional damp chill with temperatures in the 60s. Laugh if you will, but when you live in a house that is completely open to the exterior environment and the temperature inside is the same as the temperature outside, a damp 65 degrees can feel pretty raw and uncomfortable when you are lounging around that house. Normally, the rainy, wintry season begins in late September or October and is over by early to mid-January. Not this year – unseasonable rain, wind, and low temperatures have been with us throughout February.
This Monday was the first full day of sunshine in more than two weeks. Sort of anemic sunshine for sure, but the sky was decidedly blue versus gray for a change. It did not rain all day. Sadly, if the weather forecast is accurate, a nasty storm will arrive in Hoi An by way of the East Sea sometime tonight or tomorrow. We apparently are in for a couple of days of heavy rain at the very least. The flooding from our first big storm of the year, now more than two weeks ago, has mostly receded (the floods making international news are to the north of Hoi An), but there is still plenty of water standing in the fields. If the storm brings heavy, driving rain for any length of time, roads will become impassable and life will get messy again.
After the horrific storm on Sunday, the rain tapered off and there were only sporadic showers overnight. At ten o’clock Monday morning, the lane in the distance was passable, but the lane running by the wall on the left that would get me there was not. It was early afternoon before I was able to get away from my house – by a very roundabout route – to do some much needed food shopping. It is Monday evening as I post this. It has not rained all day and the flood water has started to recede. Unfortunately, there is plenty of rain in the forecast for the next few days.
The air was so damp that I had a little condensation in the camera which fogged up some of the photos I took this morning. I worked to clear this up with Photoshop, but the row of houses in the background still does not have as much contrast as it might.
After 24 hours of almost continuous driving rain, it is safe to say the flooding situation has gotten dramatically worse in Hoi An. The motorbike path in the foreground appears to be clear to a main road shrouded in rain and fog in the distance. This, of course, is no guarantee that the main road is passable. Sam is a nervous dog at this point, and I would be fibbing to say I am enjoying this storm.
This year’s rainy season arrived in central Vietnam several days ago. To make sure nobody missed the change of season, Hoi An is now into its fifth day of steady – sometimes torrential – rain. The fields around me, fallow after the recent rice harvest, are flooded, but the roads and pathways near me are wet but passable. My house has had no water problems so far, fingers crossed. There is significant flooding in parts of Hoi An. Hopefully the current storm will soon pass, but in any case, we can expect lots of rain and rainy days for the rest of this month and November. The rain should taper off in December.
This was shot at 9:30 in the morning. Any hint of the sun or blue sky is well-hidden by the brooding clouds.
Nine years ago today in 2011, I found myself driving through an October snow shower on US 50 in the California Sierras, en route from San Francisco to Denver. Nine years ago! Time does fly.