Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Rain Until September

Are we seeing a change? The weather, that is. The stifling humidity of yesterday suggested that the almost unbroken sun and fine weather could come to a crashing halt; crashing as in the crash, bang and wallop of storms. Since early May there has been barely any appreciable rain. There have been some spots and some cloudy spells, but apart from a cloudburst that deluged Puerto Pollensa some weeks ago, there has been nothing ... no rain, only heat upon unrelenting heat, dry upon unrelenting scorched earth.

This has been a summer similar in some ways to the fierce one of 2003, the one that claimed lives across western Europe. In that year interior temperatures nudged the 40 mark in June and hardly fell below 30 for the next two months. And then right on cue, almost at the stroke of midnight on 1 September, came the storms. And they lasted for several days. The end of August and into September is the stormy season. Indeed it is far from unusual for there to be fierce storms and heavy rains in August. It was one such August storm that led to the closure of the farcically ill-prepared new metro system in Palma that was flooded. When was that? Three years ago?

This year has seen some record temperatures. The 42 of July in Sa Pobla was the highest for some fifteen years. The heat of this summer, say some, was nature's correction following what had been a generally wet winter. Nature's correction could be about to be experienced in a different way - deluges. It would not be altogether surprising. The heat and the dry weather may have turned some gardens shades of brown or even grey, but the landscape is resilient. It is a remarkable feature of Mallorca that so much retains a greenness despite the lack of rain. The dryness has its dangers. There have been large billboards - in Catalan of course - warning against fires in the forests. Make that also fires on mountains. A Briton has been detained following the fire on the Puig Sant Martí in Puerto Alcúdia on Sunday. The helicopter with its demolition-ball-style water bombs was scooping from the Lago Menor and the Canadair firefighting planes from the sea. On Monday there were other fires in the interior.

Mallorca, though it has its forests, is not as densely wooded as other places. Fires do not tend to take on the levels of seriousness that were the case in southern Spain earlier this summer and have been the case just recently in Greece. Unlike another Mediterranean island, Corsica, it is not the site of devastating fires, usually deliberately started. Having experienced the proximity of a major fire in Corsica and witnessed the environmental disasters visited on that island, it is something to be grateful for that Mallorca is spared such natural violence, albeit artificially created.

The most powerful remedy to fires, however, is natural, and that means rain. And rain, lots of it, is not, one fancies, that far away. Some will be saying thank goodness.

And as the seasons being to change, possibly, so the football season arrives together with the No Frills bus to take those of a footballing Darren bent off to the ONO stadium (Oh, no, it's ONO; oh, no, it's Real Mallorca). The first game of the new season is against Xerez, which presumably means a lot of sherry - or maybe not. Anyway, info on the WHAT'S ON BLOG -

Yesterday's title - David Bowie,
Today's title - and into September, it might be argued. It might as well ... Who?


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