Friday, September 2, 2011

Weather or not

 One of the things I like about living out here in São Paulo is that the weather is so predictable. Which is not to say, sadly, that it's always hot and sunny - far from it. We have two-fleece days and hot water bottle nights out here just like we did back in Cambridge and without the comfort of central heating while we're at it. No, what I mean is that you always know what the weather is going to be doing. If it's gloriously sunny all morning but the forecast says you'll have a thunderstorm at 4.00pm, then sure enough the breeze will pick up at lunchtime and the dark clouds will put in an appearance at 3.30pm on the dot.

And this level of accuracy also holds true for the weekly forecasts as well. Last weekend we were out in shorts and tee-shirts. It was 32 degrees (a typical Spring day) and we were worrying about the boys getting too much sun. The five-day forecast said it was due to continue like that until Tuesday but that on Wednesday it would drop to 15 degrees with heavy rain - but only for the one day, after which it would be back to clear skies again, with temperatures staying low until the weekend when it would be back up in the thirties. Needless to say, this is exactly what happened. The thunderstorm began at four in the morning and it chucked it down non-stop until midday. It was dry by two, though still cold, but sure enough, come Thursday morning there wasn't a cloud in the sky.

I love this level of predictability. Back in England if you followed the five-day forecast you'd notice that it tended to change from day to day. On Tuesday it would promise a nice weekend, by Thursday it would hedge its bets and suggest possible cloud. By Friday it would have to admit that actually there was a good chance of rain on the Sunday and then come Sunday, when the rain failed to materialise, it would tell you there was a slight chance of clear skies after all.

I don't blame the forecasters - I use the BBC out here just like I did back in the UK - I blame the British Isles and their unfortunate location, wedged as they are between the stormy Atlantic and the freezing Arctic. And they're small as well. No matter what direction it's coming from, weather barely has time to get up and running before it's gone and the next lot is on its way. Over here we have lazy weather. Once it's here, it really can't be bothered to go anywhere else and is happy to sit around doing nothing until some much bigger bit of weather (generally a thunderstorm) comes alone and pushes it off the sofa.

And after such a stunning display of incisive technical expertise, I wonder that the Met Office still hasn't been in touch. But anyway, given that it is so nice and sunny - and looks set to stay this way for quite some time - I think I'll go out and enjoy it.

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