Sunday, 6 May 2007

Weather report

The weather outside my window is dry, not particularly warm, overcast with sunny intervals.

The month of April was not only the warmest and sunniest since records began, with average temperatures up to five degrees above the seasonal norm, it was also the driest month of all time, with metered rainfall at the National Observatory of precisely zero.

Yesterday that dry spell reached the point -- 37 days of unbroken dry weather -- that matched the previous record, set in 1887. Which means that today sees another record smashed.

What this means for all of us is two things: in the short term, we're all going to have to get used again to what rainfall is like. Experts are predicting we might from Monday enter into a long spell of rain lasting up to six weeks, but that sounds a little too Biblical to me, reminiscent of Pharaoh's dream of the seven lean years and the seven fat years. Parents have already taken to starting bedtime stories, "Once upon a time, far away in a magic land where water fell out of the sky ...". I imagine tomorrow we'll see children and adults alike gazing awe-struck into the sky as the first drops fall, a bit like The Day The Earth Caught Fire but with a happy ending.

In the longer term, it's clear we're all doomed. A Belgian April with no rain at all? Thirty-eight days of dry weather, in a country unused to going for even three? Something is very obviously broken, and in a big way. The planet evidently doesn't have much time left.

It's been nice knowing you, guys.

The Grand' Place in Brussels, pictured yesterday