Ever since time began the earth's weather has been cyclical. There has been an Ice Age, followed by periods of dry, hot, arid temperatures, with the in-betweens signifying the transitions. We are warned that the earth has entered into a period of global warming, yet there are those who steadfastly refuse to believe it. Perhaps that is because it really is one of those truths that are inconvenient.
This past week, the Valencian Comunity got a taste of what is to come. Fortunately it only lasted for one terrifying day, and what a day it was.
The forecast warned that a frontal system was moving up from the Sahara bringing with it a dust storm and intense heat. We expected the system to descend upon us on Thursday, May 14th. Probably most people closed up their homes tightly upon going out in the morning. I went to work in the market place in LLiria, and fortunately I had a secluded and shaded spot, but just after twelve the wind got up, the heat suddenly rose, and in the sky, there hung a grey/brown pall which was a combination of smoke from fires that had broke out and the dust fog, a smog, in fact.
The effect on the crowds in the market was the same as if it had started to rain. We gathered up our stuff and headed for the hills. If you can think of a giant turbine that throws out intense wind and heat, being in the midst of the system on Thursday afternoon would have been like just standing behind the turbine and sucking it up.
By the time I arrived home my dog and one of my cats were quite disturbed. They had no idea what was going on. I scooped them up and took them inside and turned on the A/C. I suspect my other cat had taken refuge in the downstairs apartment, where he lives on his own. I spent the afternoon with the two animals watching, and in their case, listening and sleeping through movies.
If you did not have A/C I find it difficult to imagine how you got through it. The official temperature for Valencia was 41.5 degrees centigrade, however, one prominent spot registered 50 degrees; another 48, others 42, 44, and 46. Deaths of humans were recorded, especially of homeless people that were suspected to have been because of the overwhelming heat.
It seems that the streets were unusually free of traffic, and for good reason: it actually hurt to be exposed as though you were experiencing direct fire. I never did take note as to whether there were any people at the beach lying naked in the sun.
This was just a one-day taste of things to come. During the height of the day in Summer it gets hot enough to send all who can, to have a siesta. But, we are not yet in Summer. This is Spring!
Copyright (c) 2015 Eugene Carmichael