The white heat of summer
This week: The white heat of summer; Fire season again;
This is going to be another short blog this week. I seem to keep saying that recently!
Not because I have done nothing all week, but rather what I have done has been almost all on the computer.
I did have a run over to the other half of the village where fiends have a house. They wanted to know what progress hasd been made on their new swimming pool.
I needn’t have bothered taking a towel…..
Morning and night I can be found irrigating now the summer heat has arrived. Then there is the obligatory siesta from 13:30 – but I am up around 5am every morning!
Coffee and biscuits with neighbours and friends, is also another obligation. As is a glass of a local red or white beverage, served ice cold in the evening.
There are trips to the supermarkets, usually shortly after they open at 7am, because that is when it is still cool and there are few other customers.
Supermarkets is plural, because only Plodine has the Felix crunchies my felines like, and the other has discount ice cream. I have lots of ice cream in the freezer.
So all in all, a fairly typical week for mid-summer here in Dol.
The white heat of summer
I have a FaceBook weather group here in Dol, where I provide a weather forecast, based on my weather station data, but only for the immediate area around home.
I could see on Monday night that there was a heatwave coming and included it in my mid-week update on Tuesday morning.
Then on Tuesday afternoon, the Italian Meteorological Society gave the high pressure anticyclone a name, Cerberus.
When weather system are given names, it is because they are going to cause problems.
In many countries it has been shown that by giving a name to a storm system, people actually take more notice of the danger.
Cerberus is the three headed “Hound of Hell” from Greek Mythology, which guards the gates to Hades. It is not a bad image to conjure up because of the heat that this anticyclone is bringing across the Mediterranean basin.
The system is centred in the Tyrrhenian Sea, between the west coast of Italy and Sardinia. It is bringing extreme temperatures to a wide swathe of the Western Mediterranean, where in places they have exceeded 43ºC.
Here in Dol the most I have recorded is +34ºC. I have also recorded 811 W/m² (Watts per m²) of short wave solar irradiance and a UVI level of 7. UVI damages DNA and rots many plastic surfaces.
These are very high levels and mean that it is unsafe to be out for more than a very few minutes between 11:00 and 16:00.
So although there has been a nice Mistral wind each afternoon, I have not been out on my Foil Board, because the combination of direct and reflected light and UV would quickly burn me to a crisp!
This heat is not going away either. The forecast is for another anticyclone building next week.
Fire season again
After a wet and cool spring and early summer, the amount of grass and shrub growth is considerable.
Earlier in the week there was a major fire in Šibenik-Knin, some 70 km to the north west.
I look at the proximity of the trees to houses near me and worry about what will happen when we have a fire.
Another problem is that a lot of those properties in the picture are “holiday homes” so they are not occupied for most of the year.
There are still the odd plants which are growing, like these Prickly Pear cactus.
We are right on the edge of their range though, because although they do flower and produce fruit, they never grow more than one or two pads high.
I am still regularly walking through the olive groves and the Spanish Oyster Thistles, Scolymus hispanicus, are all over this year.
They have viscous spines which scratch you as you pass and this year they are even growing all along most of the tracks and paths around my home. NCG