Friday, October 14, 2005

Mmm! I wonder...

While spending the night watching the recent Tropical Storm Vince doing its worst, I couldn't help but wonder about the weather.

As thunder claps exploded over the land with a deafening roar and lightning tore at the clouds above; I decided to count the seconds between the two weather phenomenon to establish how much distance there was between the storm. Suddenly the whole landscape was illuminated by a series of lightening flashes and was accompanied the deafening boom of thunder overhead. Street lights in the surrounding villages went out for a moment, no sooner were they re-lit than the storm blew them out again. Vince is here! There is no distance between us.

After long minutes of intense storm activity the period between thunder bolts and lightning flashes lengthened a little, I began to count ....

And then it struck me! The thought not the lightning. At home the measurement was 1 second to mile, but here in continental Europe they measured distance in kilometers; here maybe 1 second equals 1 kilometer rather than a mile. Perhaps they have metric weather?

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Climate change!

The changeable nature of the worlds weather has become an obsession for media commentators around the world. Spain is no exception, exceptional weather has been this years norm.

In little over a year I have experienced the hottest summer, the coldest winter and the most prolonged period of drought in the last 120 years. When the drought finally ended the rains brought by tropical storm Vince brought chaos and wide spread damage to the Costa Brava coastal region; 272 liters of rain fell per m2 in a period of 48 hours.

With resevoirs at 35% capacity everyone wanted the rains to come, but with so much in such a short period of time the flood water washed away crops and roads, and did little to alleviate the water shortage.