Blogs in this series

Life in Culebrón is personal view of Spain and Spanish life as seen by a Briton living in a small village in Alicante province.
The other tabs link to similar blogs when I have lived in other places. The TIM magazine is an English language magazine I write articles for.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Microclimates

I've wriiten a diary every day for the last forty six years. For several years now I've put a little footnote to describe the weather - hot and sunny, wet and grey - and, alongside, the maximum and minimum temperatures. I bought a thermometer for the process but, when I lived in La Unión, there was nowhere I could site the thermometer in the shade so I started to use the data from the Spanish equivalent of the Met Office.

The weather, here as everywhere, is a talking point. It's been hot for the past two or three weeks generally in the mid to high thirties. Some parts of Spain have been over forty on occasional days. People often exagerate the weather. They tell me that it was 53ºC in their patio or somesuch so I try to slip into the conversation, gently of course - well, the highest temperature ever recorded in Spain before today has been 47.2ºC in Murcia and, according to the local weather station it only got to 38ºC (or whatever).

But local variations are very noticeable. Spain is the second highest country in Europe and there are mountains all over the place. They affect the microclimate to a remarkable degree. Driving from home in Culebrón to Pinoso just five kilometres away the temperature can rise a couple of degrees whereas Rodriguillo, on the other side of Pinoso towards Fortuna, is often a couple of degrees cooler than Culebrón. Humidity is another startling varaible.

Last year, I think it was last year, hail destroyed rooves, furniture, cars and whatnot in Paredón, another of the villages that encircle Pinoso. In Ubeda, on the same day, the same hail storm but with less intensity smashed the windscreen of a friend's car and put hundreds of little dents into their neighbours car. Just 3km up the road, in Culebrón we got heavy rain but no hail.

Yesterday it rained heavily for the second time this week in Culebrón. When it was over we had large pools all over the garden and I had to mop up in the back bedroom where I'd left a door ajar. I have proof that it rained, I was on the phone to my sister and I made her listen to the noise as the big drops collided with the tin roof.

This morning, when I checked yesterday's temperatures (High 33.6ºC, Low 21.8ºC) I  noticed that the rainfall recorded in Pinoso, where the official weather station is, was zero. In fact none of the weather stations in Valencia, in all three provinces, recorded any rainfall whatsoever.

So was Culebrón the only place it rained yesterday?


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