Contrasts can sometimes be brutal. The images of the Eastern US covered in up to almost a meter of snow compound the bleak sensations offered by the Sierra de Guadarrama this end of January. Almost entirely snowless.
What confronts us here are images of Spring..like the blooming bush above, photographed just up the road from my house. Sure, we can say that it’s well known that in the center of Spain we do have dry Winters sometimes, and then of course there is El Niño.. But when you look at the data, there’s no escaping the brutality of the contrasts.
The fact is January has not been a dry month in Guadarrama, November and December were extremely dry but not so January. In Cercedilla the average precipitation for January is 90mm..so far this month of January we have had 138.4mm of water from the skies, way above the norm. The problem is the temperature, practically all that precipitation has been just that: water from the skies..rain, not snow.
Across the pond, in Washington DC, we find the other extreme. The average snowfall for the whole Winter is around 18 to 20 inches. Last weekend they got almost 30 inches. That’s not far off a meter of snow (75cm)..in just two days. And if we look at Southern Asia things get really crazy..in Guangdong they were covered in white for the first time since the 1920s. Most of the local people had never seen snow before.
And our hills are brown and bleak.
PS: The way the weather is going: 2015 – hottest year on record. More confirmation of what we already knew.