As a geography teacher here in Alicante before I retired two years ago, I realized that on issues of local climate change, hydrology and historical patterns of local weather, there was only one reliable authority: Jorge Olcina, the professor of climatology at the University of Alicante. His regular articles on climate and weather in the provincial newspaper Información de Alicante are unmissable if you live in the province, as he is more reliable than the long-term weather forecast.
In an article on 6 August – which could be easily missed as it did not have the word Covid in it – Olcina made the claim that the climate we experience in the western Mediterranean can no longer be described as “Mediterranean”. It is more accurate now to describe it as “tropical”.
I was so impressed with the article that I cut it out and pinned it to my kitchen noticeboard in the place of honour next to the recipe for gazpacho, the holy Saint Clare of Assisi, and the image of the holy foal Aitana.
In expectation of the September rains, I am now preparing storm drains on the donkey terraces. This involves early rising to do as much digging and concreting as possible before it is too hot to work. At some point very soon we will get another super storm like last year’s spectacular “gota fria”.
Every day counts now in preparations to minimise the storm damage. A video of last September’s storm – taken from a balcony in Alicante early in the morning on the day of the spectacular electrical storm accompanied by torrential rains – shows why preparations are necessary. The blog will take second place to shovelling and concreting for the next week!