Rainier at the weekend than during the week?

September 4, 2008

Members of the Spanish Air Force acrobatic group ‘Patrulla Aguila’ fly over San Lorenzo beach in Gijon, northern Spain, during an aerial exhibition July 27 (a Saturday!), 2008. REUTERS/Eloy Alonso (SPAIN)It seems there may be some truth to the awful thought that it’s wetter at the weekends in summer than on weekdays — at least in Spain.

Many people know the feeling — after being stuck inside an office block at work during the week, you look forward to going outside or visiting the beach at the weekend….only to find it starts pouring.

Of course you normally write off that niggling feeling that the weather was better on Wednesday as unreasonable gloom — but researchers at the University of Barcelona studying Spain’s weather say it may be true.

Looking at weather patterns from 1961 to 2004, their study discovered that cloud cover, rains, sunshine, air pressure all vary according to the day of the week; that may be because of some link between emissions of pollution from factories and more burning of fossil fuels from Monday to Friday.

The pollutants may affect cloud formation, or help seed rain droplets.

The good news is that the cycle apparently means better weather at weekends in wintertime — December, January and February — than on weekdays. But the bad is that the scientists write that “our analyses detected also that other seasons (spring and summer) show opposite weekly cycles” of a tendency to worse weekend weather.An unidentified steward looks on, from under an umbrella, as rain falls over the Nou Camp Stadium in Barcelona, Spain December 10, 2002. The match between Newcastle and Barcelona in the Champions League second stage group A match was postponed due to heavy rain. NO RIGHTS CLEARANCES OR PERMISSIONS ARE REQUIRED FOR THIS IMAGE REUTERS/Ian Hodgson IH/NMB

In winter, the scientists say that the mixing of pollutants in the atmosphere happens at lower layers, perhaps helping to explain a difference.

It is also unclear whether the effects of worse weekend summer weather hold true in other nations. The scientists admit that some other studies have not found such results and that the summer effect is less pronounced than in winter. 

If the effect is widespread, a campaign for better weekends sounds a compelling argument to shift towards less polluting energy like wind or solar power in developed nations. Alongside a drive to fight global warming or to break dependence on foreign oil imports, a new slogan could be: “bring back ‘Sun day!”

What do you think? Is it really wetter at the weekend?


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This is what it would take for American voters to take the environment seriously. Let global warming bring the hell of exponentially increased methane levels, high water, or deserts — “we’ll adapt.” But when human pollution messes with weekend sunshine, the line has been crossed!

Posted by RLM | Report as abusive

Can anyone explain why there has been no global warming in the 21st century ? We were +0.4C vs. the average for 1961-1990 during the 1980’s and 1990’s. But during 2000-2008 there has been NO further warming, even as the man-caused emissions of CO2 have sky-rocketed

Posted by seneca | Report as abusive

Thanks Seneca — as I understand it natural variations in the climate — such as changes in the temperature of the Pacific Ocean brought on by El Nino or La Nina — are bigger than the effect of global warming.

Temperatures have risen by about 0.15 Celsius per decade since the 1970s, or 0.015 Celsius per year, with most blamed on global warming…But that doesn’t mean each successive year will be warmer than the last; the trend can be masked by far bigger natural swings.

According to the list at the link below, the hottest year since records began in the 1850s was 1998, boosted by a strong natural warming of the Pacific due to El Nino. The warmest years listed behind it are 2005, 2003, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2001.

So scientists can say that the current decade is warmer than past decades, even though the warmest year isn’t in it. This year is likely to be in the top 10 (…certainly doesn’t feel like it after a chill August in northern Europe where I live), even with a cooling blamed on La Nina.

This link from the Met Office in Britain asks “Is global warming all over?”:

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pr essoffice/2008/pr20080429.html

Posted by Alister Doyle | Report as abusive

It is going to take not 1 but 2 kick butt Mavericks to get us out of the mess we are in. That is what we have in the McCain/Palin Ticket. No nonsense, not afraid to do the right thing, not afraid to cross any line to get the job done and done right, not afraid to go against the grain if that is what it takes! Our economy is in a sorry state of affairs directly related to the high cost of fuel which affects everything from loss of jobs to a record loss of homes not to mention the rise in cost of all consumer goods. We have become so dependant on foreign oil that we have neglected to fully utilize such natural sources of energy such wind power & solar power. Along with modern technology such as plug in cars, hybrid cars, v2g technology ,and regenerative braking technology. We still seem to be floundering as a nation as to devising the best plan utilize all that is available to us and lift ourselves out of this mess we are in. We need to take our closest look at which candidates put our economy and energy crisis at the forefront of their agenda. The Manhattan Project of 2009 by Jeff Wilson pretty much says it all…


Posted by Sherry | Report as abusive

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