with No Comments

The weather in Dol

This week: The weather in Dol; The heating Atlantic Ocean; I am under attack!;

A sunny summer day
A sunny summer day

I am finding it incredibly hard to write this week’s blog.

This is for two reasons. Firstly I have Tigger and Bljsac asleep on my knee.

Siesta time
Siesta time

They can both fit, just, but it is a tight squeeze. And any movement has to be coordinated.

It is warm outside (not hot, just warm), but we are firmly in the time of the year when afternoon siestas are compulsory, by law.

Quiet time warning
Quiet time warning

The second reason is that I have been stung by a very unhappy wasp.

I found a large wasp trapped in the greenhouse. Wasps have an important place in the ecological order, being a pollinator, just like bees. So I tried to usher it out of the door.

Clearly it was not happy at being “ushered”, and stung me on the tip of my right index finger.

I immediately applied Anthisan bite cream but my finger still throbs and of course it is a keyboard finger.

I have been getting ready for winter this week.

Cvjetko brought two truck loads of dry timber, which otherwise would have been going to the tip.

Dry timber for the wood stove
Dry timber for the wood stove

So I now have around two cubic meters of wood which needs cutting, ready for my wood stove, once the nights draw in again.

Dry timber ready for cutting
Dry timber ready for cutting

It will be next week’s job to cut and stack everything, so I can get my car back inside my gates.

The weather in Dol

It has been another wet week this week here in Dol.

A very rainy Thursday
A very rainy Thursday

On Thursday it was raining when I got up, and it was still raining when I went to bed.

But this was the right kind of rain. And yes, you can get the wrong kind of rain.

It was rainfall rate of 4mm an hour. However by the time the rain stopped around 23:30, we had received a useful 27.4mm.

That is just under 27 and a half litres per square metre. So in my 1,000 square metre orchard, 27,400 litres; a not insignificant amount.

I use the figures from my weather station to produce various graphs. Humans are visual beings and it is a lot easier to see a trend in a pictorial image, than it is a row or column of numbers.

Annual precipitation- June 2023
Annual precipitation- June 2023

Breaking the year up into the winter and summer periods – winter mild and wet, summer hot and dry – we are already significantly above the average, and have had more precipitation than in any year since I came here.

Summer precipitation
Summer precipitation

The cooler than average weather so far this year, apart from January, influences the growth of trees, plants and weeds.

It favours some, but not many native species which over aeons have got used to the winter wet/summer dry regime.

2023 temperatures
2023 temperatures

Remember that these are the actual (yellow) and average (red and blue) temperatures.

An average is several years of data, added together, then divided by the number of years. So some years will be hotter, some cooler.

When I made a chart just showing all the annual temperatures, there was little observable difference.

It was just a bunch of lines all close together. Looking at 2023, a three or four degree difference, above or mostly below the average is significant.

Usually by this point in the year, the olive groves have been cut and the annual grasses have died back and are brown.

This week, following my usual walking route, several owners have had to cut the grass for a second or third time, and those left uncut are almost impassable.

The felines refuse to even try and force a way though the jungle, several times their body height.

Overgrown olive groves
Overgrown olive groves

It is both costly and time consuming for owners to have to cut their olive groves more than once. This year I see many that are looking decidedly unkempt.

I have noticed the absence of several species of butterfly and moth species too.

Who could blame a larvae in a cocoon for not wanting to emerge until the temperature is right. But when they do emerge, will their food plants be available for them?

I am regularly asked what the rest of the summer and / or year will be like. The honest answer is that I just have no idea.

The heating Atlantic Ocean

More than we really fully understand, the oceans of the planet are interlinked. However what is well understood is that the oceans affect the weather experienced on the land mass.

71% of the surface of the earth is covered by water with 29% being continents and islands. So it is unsurprising that the water masses affect our global weather.

Two weeks ago NOAA announced that the Pacific warming known as El Niño is underway. Already it is stronger than normal.

This will affect Europe, but not until the coming winter and next spring and summer.

What is causing immediate concern for scientists and oceanographers is a significant, current warming of the Atlantic ocean.

The Atlantic affects weather across Europe because of its proximity, its size and how weather systems in west Africa also influence Europe.

At the beginning of April, scientists began to see a rapid warming of the sea’s surface, known as the Sea Surface Temperature Anomoly.

2023 Atlantic Sea Surface Temperature Anomaly
2023 Atlantic Sea Surface Temperature Anomaly (In RED)

This week it is 1.25ºC above the average and ¾ of a degree above where even in warm years it would be at this point in the year. These are huge variations in such a large surface area.

Scientists are scrambling to identify and understand the cause of the rapid temperature rise. One probable cause is a lack of dust being blown off the Sahara.

Massive clouds of airborne particulates reflect sunlight away. Without the dust, the solar radiation heats the Atlantic Ocean.

Sahara dust plume - NASA Photo
Sahara dust plume – NASA Photo

In 2023, there has been a marked decrease in winds over the Sahara, which lift the dust and blow it far out into the Atlantic.

An overheated Atlantic is not good news for the forthcoming hurricane season. Hurricanes grow, drawing heat from the water underneath. More heat means bigger storms.

What does all this mean for our weather in Dol?

That is difficult to say, but probably a cooler and wetter summer than we have had for the past few years.

I am under attack!

I have made the decision to remove the “commenting” box, which was usually found at the bottom of each week’s blog.

There may be one or two readers who feel upset, and I apologise to them, but overall compared to the number of readers each week, there have been few comments made.

The problem that readers do not see, is the number of “SPAM” messages and attempted phishing links which are posted every week.

Most are posted by bots which hunt around the internet for places where they can post a message. Once a web address gets onto a list, it becomes self perpetuating.

This week on Sunday alone, there were 35 messages which “people” had tried to post, offering “services” of various kinds, including many by Ladies of the Night!

Commenting on the blog has never been a large part of the blog, often several weekly issues go by without any at all, so I have made the decision to turn the commenting off for the time being.

Following this week’s attack, I suspect that somewhere on the dark web, there is a list with my blog address on and that is why I have had so many messages.

I will see how it goes, but I don’t want to make people prove they are human just to leave a message. We all know what Traffic Signals look like without me adding a Captcha box! NCG