You must miss the weather

Spain's weather map 28-JUL-14

Spanish weather map (28-JUL-2014)

I admit I’m quite bad at small talk. Weather is considered the universal topic to avoid awkwardness but if you meet me you are at risk to make it even more uncomfortable for you. In Ireland, where I live, weather is quite bad: rainy, often windy, and unstable. When people learn I come from Spain they either ask me whether I miss the Spanish weather or just directly assume so. Many people from the British Isles go to Spain on holiday every year, in most cases to the Mediterranean coast or the islands. Most of them completely ignore the northern half of the country, and after Madrid and Barcelona their inner Spanish geography handbook just includes important hotspots such as Ibiza, Mojácar, Benalmádena, Fuengirola and the like (with funny placename pronunciations which make it slightly difficult for me to guess). I’ve come across some folks who enjoy being and looking classy and let me know they’ve been to the real heartland of Spain, which seems to be between the centre and the North of the country. They do know indeed that the North is cooler.

I’ve been watching the Spanish weather forecast since last week and it seems that for most of the time my hometown of San Sebastian has been only a couple of Celsius degrees warmer than Dublin. For example last Monday (28th July) they were enjoying 22 Cº there for the 20 Cº we saw in Dublin. On the same date Madrid was boiling at 36ºC and some Spanish regions were around 40ºC. However my people in the northern corner near France were enjoying our oceanic climate, which is basically the same as in Britain and Ireland (with a few nuances). Regarding the 2 degree difference, it actually works like this around the year. Weather in San Sebastian is seldom more than 5 degrees hotter than in Dublin. It also rains quite a lot down there, so I’m not in the least annoyed by the rain here. In fact I only dare to call rain, like “real rain”, to what we experience in the Basque Country whereas Irish precipitation is mostly made up by thin drops of drizzle.

Wind is the really annoying part of the Irish weather in Dublin. It offers an awful chill factor and is responsible for the climatological lack of stability. It also makes umbrellas almost unusable. Very rarely you get soaked by the Irish drizzle so you could walking down the streets happy and umbrellaless most of the time. The main practical difference is that you can more or less predict how the day will turn out when you are in Spain whereas in Ireland you don’t know what the sky is going to bring you in the next half hour. Splendid sunny Spanish days that nothing can waste or days in which it won’t stop raining versus the lottery of Irish weather in which most of the tickets aren’t carrying great chances precisely.

Apart from that, the other element that annoys us Mediterraneans in the periphery of the continent is the lack of sunlight hours in winter. This effect of latitude conditions weather, but its effect in the human body (vitamin D) and joy for life is larger than the havoc a few wet days can cause. Anyway, there is some compensation for it in the longer summer days, especially in May-June-July where sunlight lasts until 23h.

So, no, I come from Northern Spain and the weather there is quite similar. I don’t miss the weather.

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One Response to You must miss the weather

  1. […] una descripción sobre la ausencia en las islas británicas de persianas y bidés. Escribí en inglés, que creo que era algo que hacía mucho que no hacía. Me escribieron algunos lectores preguntando […]

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