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Sunday, December 08, 2013

weather wise.......

Chez mr.le Marquis du Galipot.


Temperatures: 0830hrs +5C, 1330hrs+12C, last night low: 2C. Weather: MISTRAL and TREMONTAGNE (sunny).


Alert State: High winds on roads.


Jan winter dress at homeJan winter dress at home (Photo credit: iwmpop)
at home in Winter - ready to go out!
Now then, all those of you who come on holiday, and either curse the winds or bless them (depending on how you support both the winds and the heat) should come and have a go at experiencing the same 2 winds (mistral and tramontane) in winter.
Whilst in summer one can be happy with them, because they cool one down a little, one can also find them unsupportable from the noise and damage points of view, like Van Gogh, who cut his own 

ear off, just down the road from where I am writing these few words, to avoid hearing the noise.

Santon in the mistral wind, from Arles, France.Santon in the mistral wind, from Arles, France. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In fact summer or winter, they cause very little damage, surprisingly enough, but probably because the people have got very used to them, and have built accordingly, with high walls towards the north and the west, for protection. The only things that suffer now, basically, are all those touristy things that one sees whistling past one (hats,beach towels/shades/all sorts of other beach paraphanalia, including "wind-breakers"!)  These winds do of course make the work of firemen much more difficult, but slowly they are figuring out solutions in the form of helicopters with large buckets full of water and low flying airplanes that scoop up water and release it over the fire source - certainly dangerous work all to put out fires mainly started by tourists cigarettes or empty bottles!
 These are called 'Canadairs'

In Winter, however, these winds are another kettle of fish.
Since there are no (or few) tourists on the beaches (if at all, then Brits), there are no damages to reclaim there. Surprisingly enough it is very,very rare that a bush or heath-fire breaks out in winter either (does this have something to do with the lack of tourists?) so one could say that these winds make no difference. 
Quite, quite wrong!
Mistral (wind)Mistral (wind) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Since the mistral is basically a hefty North wind which picks up even more force when it hits the warmth of the south (around the Lyon area), the winter ones are less hefty, only going up to 100-120kmh, rather than the often 150kmh in summer. But - by god - they are bloody freezing! 
Witness the temperatures given at the start of this days blogging!
The tramontane is not much better, although a westerly gale force job, it hurtles, in winter, down to join the freezing mistral around about Lyons/Avignon, and then down to my oh-so-badly-insulated family home!!
The only thing that is warm here is the cat!
Another thing one has to look forward to, is the fact that these winds ALWAYS last a minimum of 3 days, and carry on in units of 3 days thereafter!
I can hear you - What's he complaining about? 12C isn't cold, should get his bum over here to UK.
SORRY FOLKS - I FIND IT COLD, and like everybody else here - I TAKE IT PERSONALLY!!

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