Feeling hot, hot, hot on the Costa del Sol

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SCORCHIO: Readers are advised to drink plenty and stay in the shade during the hottest part of the day.

ON Monday, June 13, the terral, that exceptionally warm, dry wind that blows out into the Mediterranean from inland regions, resulted in an oven-like, oppressive temperature of 39.4°C in the shade on the Costa del Sol, while on Wednesday, July 13, a similar event saw the mercury reach 35.4°C at 10pm.

The phenomenon, which typically disrupts sleep patterns, increases irritability, or prompts headaches and fatigue, returned to Malaga on Friday, July 22, with temperatures expected to reach at least 36°C in the late afternoon.

The sweltering conditions are expected to continue into Saturday, with a couple of disagreeable, sweaty, evenings in prospect, while residents and visitors alike should be reminded that the baking breeze brings with it an extremely high risk of wildfires, with those bedding down in rural areas asked to be particularly vigilant.

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A curious secondary effect of the terral is that the sea tends to be mercifully cool when it blows, as the hot air pushes the surface water out to sea when it arrives to the coast, with cool, deeper water replacing it via displacement in a process known as upwelling.

Another meteorological peculiarity seen on the Costa over the last few weeks is that of ‘blood rain’, whereby cars and other objects are covered in what is essentially mud following a downpour, which is brought about by the presence of dust particles from the Sahara Desert in the air.

These are dragged across the Mediterranean and are the cause of the recent haze since they remain suspended in the atmosphere until rain washes them out, much to the chagrin of drivers throughout the region, many of whom will have been dragooned into cleaning their vehicles after the first deluge, only to be defeated by the elements afresh just a few days later.

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