How has the weather been for you over the last few months? It seems like I’ve been hearing stories of freak weather from all over the world – floods in Britain, snow in the US and ice storms in Canada. Here in Rio we had the hottest summer in 50 years. From the start of December 2013, right through to the end of February, we had temperatures that rarely seemed to dip below 35°C (95°F) and spent long periods well up above 40°C (104°F).
They say that the British are always talking about the weather, but I tell you what – when things get hot, the Brazilians talk about it a fair bit too! Day after day I would hear people complaining that the temperatures were insuportável (unbearable). I have to confess that I took a certain amount of pleasure in telling anyone who would listen that I positively loved the high temperatures. And after all, I spent the first 30 years of my life complaining about how cold it was, I wasn’t about to start moaning about the heat!
Then, in the last week or two, some mysterious white objects started to appear in the sky and not long after, the heavens opened. At first it stayed hot despite the rain, but in the last few days the temperatures have finally dropped too.
Now I’ll let you guys into a little secret – I’m actually quite enjoying the fact that it isn’t so hot anymore. This morning I went for a run in the park and it was just 21°C instead of the 28°C it had been a couple of weeks before.
And in a country that is so reliant on water to generate its power (Hydroelectric power plants produce more than 90% of the electrical energy consumed in Brazil), we are in dire need of more rainfall if we aren’t going to suffer embarrassing power cuts during the World Cup.
I don’t think I’m ever going to be a big fan or the rain or the cold, but after the longest, hottest summer of my life, I’m prepared to admit that a spot or two or precipitation can be a good thing. And happily it isn’t all grey skies and rain – I’ll leave you with a shot I took of the full moon rising in a clear sky over Guanabara the weekend before last.