★★★★ Sweltering humidity at its purest, unboosted by any overt solar heat. For once, and briefly, it was worth stepping into the office air conditioning, after the airless stairwell. Then the monstrous chill regained its monstrousness. The outside darkened. Mobile phones whined en masse, if not in perfect synchrony, with arriving flash-flood warnings. Suddenly and quietly a solid downpour was falling — and then came a loud growl of thunder, then a sharp clap of it, then a long sustained boom. Another boom followed, sounding very specifically overhead. The street-side windows were white with rain. A roll and a crash; a roll that turned into a crash. Ten minutes went by, fifteen. The booming abated and the rain became an ordinary steady rain. The sky stayed dark, and it was noticeably cooler. The rain stopped long enough for the fire escape to dry out, then fell again on the evening commute. Once more it stopped, then, with three evenly spaced shell-bursts of thunder, returned for an indefinite soaking.