Mallorca lashed by storms

We have old friends holidaying on the island in a finca down in the southeast. Like many sun-starved Brits, they were longing for some Mediterranean warmth and sunshine during their two weeks’ holiday on Mallorca. How disappointing for them that the weather changed on Sunday (the day after their arrival), with thunderstorms and rain replacing the fine spring weather we’d been enjoying over the past few weeks.

If Sunday’s storm wasn’t enough, we had more yesterday and last night. Yes, another night when The Boss had to get up, get out and switch off our solar power electricity system.  It was all quite dramatic – with some incredibly loud claps of thunder that rattled every pane of glass in our little casa – but, here in our valley, there wasn’t anything like the quantity of rain that fell elsewhere on the island.

Deluge day

Just five minutes’ drive from our home is a winery and, last night, we saw on the local IB3 TV news that their cellar had been flooded. Today, the Majorca Daily Bulletin reports rainfall yesterday in Campos (in the south of Mallorca), of some 69 litres per square metre and, in Palma, 47 litres/sq.m. TV news footage and social media photos show that Palma took quite a hit too, with flooding on some major roads and trees brought down in the city centre. The Bulletin also reports that 360 bolts of lightning struck the island in less than three hours.

Having been the victims of bad weather (and a dodgy roof) in the past, we feel for those people across Mallorca who are mopping up the mess and assessing damage this morning. As I look out of the window at a benign spring day with sun shining from a blue sky, I can’t help wondering: who counts the bolts of lightning?

The storm approaches. Meanwhile, we were sipping coffee in the sunshine.

The storm approaches. Meanwhile, we were sipping coffee in the sunshine.

 

 

 

Why Thunderstorms and Solar Power are not a Good Combination

Until this week, we were having a rather unsettled spell of weather on Mallorca, with some much-needed (unless you were holidaying here) rain and some thunderstorms. The Boss and I quite enjoy watching a dramatic storm – and we do get a few – but we are always  wary about the damage that an electrical storm can do to solar power equipment. We have bitter experience, having suffered an invertor failure a few years ago during a particularly bad storm. The invertor was only three weeks old – and had cost a huge amount of money – so we were relieved to learn that the (expensive) repair was covered by our household insurance. And that our solar power system engineer would lend us an invertor until the repair could be done.

When he came back with our fixed original invertor,  he recommended that we switch off all our system equipment during future storms. So we now keep a weather eye open (pardon the pun) for any thunderhead clouds on the horizon or distant rumbling, and switch everything off if the storm arrives.

A Rude Awakening

This is fine during the day but, at night, it means somebody (and it’s always The Boss, because he’s gentlemanly like that) has to get up, go outside and dash down the field to the dependencia, where all the equipment is housed, to switch everything off. So thunderclaps at night don’t only wake us up, they can get us up too.

Four of our adoptees huddled in the window recess. Underneath three of them is little Peanut!

Four of our adoptees huddled in the window recess. Underneath three of them is little Peanut!

Hopefully last week’s overnight storm will be the last for a while. This week we’ve had temperatures in the low 30s (Celsius) and plenty of sunshine. Our cats disappear after breakfast to hide themselves from the heat – whereas, in stormy weather, they often like to gather together in the outside recess of our dining room window. As you can see, from a photo I took during last week’s bad weather, the pale ginger Peanut – the youngest of our adoptees – has been accepted by the rest of the family . . . even if it is only as a willing pillow!

Jan Edwards Copyright 2014 

Up on The Roof

An early start to the working day. Photo by The Boss.

Builders in Spain often get a bad press but, so far, we’re really pleased with the progress on re-roofing our finca in Mallorca. Juan, Junior, Mustafa, Emilio and the rest of the gang – the make-up of which changes by the day – seem to be doing a great job.

On Wednesday mornings, I present a 10-minute ‘What’s on in Mallorca’ slot on Talk Radio Europe, which is based in Marbella but also broadcasts to the island on 103.9 FM (and online at www.talkradioeurope.com). Usually this is done on the phone from home, which would have been almost impossible this week because of the noise of the work, but fortunately the station was doing an outside broadcast from Palma de Mallorca, so I had another excuse to leave the dirt and din behind for a few hours to head for a clean, sound-insulated studio. Far less painful than having a molar extracted, the previous day . . .

Men on a Mission

Storms and heavy rain are forecast for the next few days, and there’s an air of urgency to the work today. The men arrived before 8am, on a mission to cover the roof with a layer of cement, to make it fully watertight, before they leave (tomorrow is a public holiday in Spain). It’s the noisiest day of the project so far, with the constant churning of a cement mixer and the throaty rumbling of the large lorry which arrived during my absence yesterday. The latter is an impressive man-toy, with a massive extendable hydraulic arm, activated by a remote control unit. I can tell that The Boss is itching to have a go at the controls, but he has to be content with watching the huge red arm hoist the containers of cement from the ground up to the rooftop, where Emilio and Mustafa are spreading it out smoothly like chocolate on a Sachertorte.

Such is the urgency, the men didn’t have their usual siesta after eating their packed lunches down by the fig tree. And such is the mechanical noise, the usual day-long conversation has been drowned out.

Tomorrow, peace and quiet will reign again in our valley. Until the sound of the forecast thunder . . .

Jan Edwards Copyright 2012