Haiku Archives: Williwaw


I was in the Aleutian Islands when I learned, first hand, what a williwaw is. It was like a column of cold air just fell out of the sky with crushing force. The suddenness and violence of the meteorological event caught me entirely off guard.

Later, when I was in a warm pub having a pint, I asked my buddy if the wind always blows like that here. He said the phenomenon is specific to a few places in the world, and the Aleutians are one of them. It has something to do with how warmer air rises off the sea and then suddenly cools once it gets to the mountain peaks. The cold air then rushes down the mountainsides and makes all kinds of problems. He said I should watch out for that.

“Huh,” I said, not exactly sure how one can watch out for an invisible force that falls out of the sky without warning. “I’ll keep an eye out,” I said.


drowning in the sound,

a thundering williwaw

spills off the mountain

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