Weather ‘tis nobler … *

Conwy valley in North Wales was flooded in December.

Conwy valley in North Wales was flooded in December.

Lisa and I had more than one reason in our minds when we decided to move from the UK to Spain but the major one was the vastly different weather conditions in the two countries.

We were both tired of seeing almost constant grey overcast skies, seemingly never-ending high winds that, on one occasion, flattened our garden fence and rain, rain and more rain for days on end.

Since we arrived in Spain, the UK has been hit by some pretty atrocious weather resulting in widespread flooding after it was hit in quick succession by storms Desmond, Eva and Frank. On the upside, though, it has been unseasonably warm; you could even say ‘mild’.

That being the case, December’s weather in the area where we used to live, in North Wales, just had to be compared with where we live now. That was our first full month in our new home.

With the help of various weather sites on the internet, facts and figures about temperatures, wind speeds and rainfall were gathered together; I hope you find them interesting.

Short sleeves, and sunglasses in southern Spain in December. Cheers.

Short sleeves, and sunglasses in southern Spain in December.

Temperature: Colwyn Bay basked in an average a high of 55˚F/13˚C and a low of 43˚F/6˚C which, I have to agree are more like spring temperatures than those usually experienced in December. Meanwhile, Cuevas del Almanzora enjoyed a much warmer average high of 68˚F/20˚C and a low of 51˚F/10.5˚C.

The warmest day in both places was the 16th when thermometers rose to 62˚F/17˚C in North Wales but reached 72˚F/22˚C in our corner of southern Spain. In contrast, the coldest day where we are now was the 20th when the temperature fell to 45˚F/7˚C compared with 32˚F/0˚C, freezing point, on the 13th where we used to live.

Rainfall: Rain that led to widespread flooding in various parts of the UK fell near enough every day of the month in Colwyn Bay. It totalled 100mm/4inches, which is much higher than usual for December. It averaged more than 3.2mm/0.13inches a day and the day when it rained most was the 12th when 11.94mm/0.47inches were recorded.

In Cuevas del Almanzora, however, in the same month rain fell on just three days and totalled just 10mm/0.4inches.

Wind speeds: Those storms mentioned earlier meant that North Wales was lashed by winds averaging up to 20kph/12.5mph with the fastest sustained speed of 58kph/36mph; gusts reached 82kph/51mph.

That is vastly different to what we experienced. Winds here averaged just 11.75kph/7.5 mph with a fastest sustained speed of 25.75kph/16 mph; gusts reached only 35.5kph/22mph.

Summary: While Colwyn Bay enjoyed milder temperatures than usual for the time of year, it was subject to heavier than average rainfall and stronger than normal winds.

Cuevas del Almanzora enjoyed warmer temperatures, almost no rain and much less wind.

Hey, no pushing there. Form an orderly line for our spare room!


 * Apologies to William Shakespeare.

Coffee and orange trees in town centre

orange trees1

This morning, December 30, Lisa and I went into Cuevas del Almanzora, the nearest town to us, to visit our doctor to obtain the first of our Spanish ‘repeat prescriptions’ since we arrived here.

These are to treat various conditions caused by my Multiple Sclerosis, irregular heartbeat and epilepsy as well as Lisa’s asthma and high cholesterol – and we will shortly be running out of the medications we brought with us from the UK.

So, having previously obtained brief medical reports from our doctor in Colwyn Bay and having had them translated into Spanish, today we could give them to our new doctor.

orange trees2 editedOur doctor works in the town’s health centre and, today, he was not there so we were seen by one of his colleagues who sorted everything out for us; we left with prescriptions for medications to last for two months.

After leaving the surgery, we decided to enjoy a coffee at a nearby café and to drink it outside in the sunshine. As we sat there, I noticed for the first time that the greenery that lines the street is totally made up of orange trees and palm trees.

Truly delightful.