La Gota Fría

There is a meteorological phenomenon down here in southern Spain which signals the end of the summer heat. It usually occurs in September. What happens is that warm, humid air from the Mediterranean, rolling ashore and then rising to flow over the mountains just back from the coast, meets a mass of colder, dry air coming south. This sets off some spectacular thunder storms and heavy downpours, more like cloud bursts than showers, which in turn give rise to flash flooding, and immediately the daytime temperatures fall from the mid-thirties down to the mid-twenties. The phenomenon even has a name, "La Gota Fría" or the cold drop. This year it arrived a little early during the last week in August, but here in the Axarquía we had a bit of luck. The two air masses met on the other side of the sierras, triggering flooding in Antequera, Granada and then Almeria on the coast east of here, but we had no rain at all to speak of, just a couple of nighttime showers. However, we still got the lower temperatures, so we're happy on both counts.

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