Friday, August 07, 2009

Adjusting to a different climate

Although I don't feel like I'm that far away from where I grew up and lived for most of my life according to viamichelin it's 961km and that is enough to mean a very different climate. That was part of the reason I wanted to leave Ireland, just couldn't handle another rainy summer. But still, adjusting to the reality of a different climate is another story. And even though I have lived in Germany before I was mostly much further south and in or near mountains as opposed to the very flat place I live now (about 40km from the Netherlands and the flatness continues until a bit to the east and north of here).

That means that although it may get slightly warmer down south, it is very humid here and even at nighttime doesn't cool down much, unlike in the mountains where at least you can get some air. Yesterday it was 27 degrees when I went to bed at half-ten and, when I got up around midnight it had 'cooled' down to 21.

It is interesting learning to deal with it though and having to modify my behaviour to what seems to me to be completely illogical. So, to keep my apartment cool I've discovered recently that I should be closing the windows, not opening them to let in the air. Have a day off today and closed up the windows (except the one in the bathroom, which for smell reasons I prefer to leave open) not long after I got up. At that stage, it was nine o'clock and 22 degrees both inside and out. It is now just after 11 a.m. and while I'm sitting here feeling that it's a bit stuffy and rather warm, it is 4 degrees cooler in the apartment than it is outside (26 and 30 degrees respectively). Crazy stuff, don't think there has ever been a day in Ireland where that would happen but maybe I just never realised it might be a possibility there. It has also been difficult to get my head around the fact that I have to be looking out for damp and mould in the summer due to the humidity rather than in the winter due to the, eh, damp.

I've just checked the Met Eireann website and opened up the review of 2006, which is the latest they have up there. The mean annual temperature was 10.6 and it was the hottest year since 1997 although with the coldest March. The highest temperature recorded was 32.3 on 19th July and that was the highest temperature recorded since 1976. Temps for Dublin Airport were: mean 10.3, highest 26.5 and lowest -5.8. So that'll give you some idea of how different it is. Checking the forecast for today and the next few days in Ireland it seems to be highs of 16 to 20 (which I'd consider to be really nice weather) with lows of 10 to 13 overnight. While in Dusseldorf we have between 24 and 31, with rain due over the weekend and so the temps potentially dropping to 17. It's just a whole other world.

1 comment:

dND said...

It is easy not to realise what a difference the change in climate can make.

I'm quite a bit further south of you, on the same level as Bordeaux, and I'm beginning to adjust to living in half-light. The windows are not that large when compared with the size of the rooms so light levels are low at the best of times. In winter the shutters are closed all day to keep the heat in and in summer they are on the half-latch to keep the heat out!

I'm also learning to siesta and am getting quite good at taking just an hour at the hottest part of the day. A useful aid since I've been working until 10 pm many nights having had to stay inside for the hottest part of the day.