I've been a little concerned about how I'll cope with farmwork in the south of Spain in July. The average temperature may only be 30 C, when we're used to 40+ in Dubai, but who goes out in it? Not me! Got my hat, my shades & my boots. Camelback next payday, and a party-pack of rehydration salts.....
So I was shocked at RTVE news reports from Andalucia yesterday, with footage of car windscreens reduced to heaps of broken glass, a barn roof that looked a lot like a colander, and someone holding two hailstones the size of golfballs. Cave Renovator posted some atmospheric shots of a snowy landscape last December, but this is JUNE, isn't it?
I tried to find info online yesterday, but the only snow story dated from February. It looks more like Northern England than southern Spain.
Here's today's online report on Granizos gigantes - and if your Spanish isn't up to it, here's an excerpt from an email I got yesterday:
"We're fine, but the river is roaring again and there's a tidal wave coming over the waterfall. Yesterday was very dramatic and the river, normally a metre wide stream, expanded and rose dramatically. All afternoon we listened to the roar of boulders hurtling over the waterfall and the river landscape has changed dramatically with many of the trees wiped out and the river course and profile jaw-droppingly different. Our Spanish neighbours say they have seen nothing like it before with olive trees damaged by the hail and huertos flooded and ruined."
Isn't it awful?
Menorca got battered as well - upended broken boats adrift or sinking in the marina, or tossed up on the walkway.
In case you thought I was exaggerating..... These fell in Brazil, in June 1999 and September 2004, respectively.
.........and I've just remembered a hailstorm we had here one April, maybe 1995 - when Dubai took a rattling, but Sharjah got absolutely hammered. Dented cars everywhere. Sore heads and shoulders.
I remember someone describing how they'd recently moved into their villa, and left an empty steel chest, big enough to climb into, outside the kitchen door. The hail came down inches deep - and then melted, because this is a hot country you know, and the next thing they knew, their steel trunk was at the bottom of the garden, having floated down on the meltwater!
But who would imagine that a storm would reshape the landscape in landlocked Europe? World weather seems to have more sulks and tantrums than a really bad soap opera.