It’s not news to most folks whether you’re a climate change believer or denier that our weather is getting screwy as Elmer Fudd would say. We flew from Buffalo, New York to Phoenix, Arizona on Thursday and our flight was supposed to last about four hours. We were making really good time and would have landed about 20 minutes ahead of schedule. That is until I began to see towering cumulus clouds in the distance from the north side of the aircraft. I began to wonder about the weather. I checked the in flight information on our Southwest flight and to my surprise there were thunderstorms in the Phoenix area. I must admit that I’ve never traveled to Phoenix in November so my perception might be a bit skewed.
Soon after I spotted the clouds and checked the weather I noticed that the pilot had throttled back and I said to my wife.”We’re slowing down.” We weren’t descending but we were slowing down. Our flight remained level but we were definitely slowing down. Soon thereafter one our flight crew said, “You’ve probably guessed that we are circling.” Then the pilot came on to explain the situation. He said we’d be circling for awhile before we’d be allowed to land. The crew was very professional and kept us updated throughout our almost forty-five minute hold. It was a first for me. In over 40 years of air travel I’d never been in a hold before. Our descent was a little rocky but once we broke through the clouds our flight was quite smooth despite seeing rain streak along our windows. We had a great landing at SkyHarbor and our pilot and flight crew are to be commended for our safe arrival.
Many of our fellow passengers were equally amazed at our rainy arrival in the Valley of the Sun. As we stood at the carousel waiting for our bags to arrive a woman next to me said, “I’ve been coming here for thirty years and I’ve never witnessed anything like this rain before.”