Thursday, December 04, 2014

Boy did it rain

Last night at about 11:00pm we could hear the rain battering down outside. I checked in the bedroom to see if it was running down inside the house from the roof terrace but heard nothing. Fortunately, the rain did not last too long and we were able to get to sleep OK.

This morning though, I was rudely awoken by the sound of the rain pouring again. This time it could be heard running in the pipe that takes excess water from the roof down inside the house. There was also the odd clap of thunder. Mrs W. was still sound asleep so I left her where she was and came to my computer to investigate.

When I checked the AEMET web site, there was little chance of rain predicted and there was no indication of heavy rain last night in the data for Orihuela. In fact, the site shows 1mm of rain at 4am this morning and none last night so what we got was obviously very local to Bigastro.

I’ve checked the other weather stations nearby to find that the pattern for the area varies according to the destination.  None of them are reporting significant amounts though – around the 1 to 2mm mark at various times which indicates that the rain was short and sharp elsewhere as it was in Bigastro.

The Spanish phrase for what we have experienced is a “tromba de agua” or downspout which is associated with a “gota fria” or cold drop. Warm, heavily laden air rises from the sea to meet cold air coming from the north which forces the clouds to drop their water in a dramatic fashion. The usual cause is the wind they call the Levante.

Let’s hope that the rest of the day is drier because we are flying to Manchester this afternoon for our pre-Christmas visit and I don’t really fancy navigating flooded roads on the way to the airport. The good news for those of you who are here is that the next few day will be sunny. The bad news is that it will be cold with maximums around 14-15 degrees and lows of 5 or so dropping to 3 by early next week.

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