Wednesday, 10 November 2010

when is Spring?

The weather in Mongolia is a little more extreme than I had imagined it would be. Being born in Scotland and living in the Basque Country I am used to things being slightly cooler than in say Africa or Australia. Having spent most of my life living in one of those places I have had my fair share of snow and definitely more than enough experience of rain. Winter in Edinburgh would be -10C easily and in the Pyrenees I would expect serious snowfall from mid December onwards.
This week I am having my first taste of a real winter.
Not content with sitting at a balmy -13C the weather has decided that wasn't challenging enough. Instead it has been bringing us temperatures nearer -20C, lovely. The one grace is that the climate here is so dry. We did have heavy snowfall at the weekend but rather than turning into the disgusting slush that it would in Europe it has largely stuck around or even evaporated. It's weird. Snow without any mess - I love that!
Being a continental landlocked country Mongolia has a climate that is characterised by low precipitation and sharp seasonal fluctuations. A long sumer and a longer winter. Courtesy of the high Siberian flank to the east and Himalayas to the south low pressures are infrequent. We pray for cloud cover in winter as it can raise temperatures into the sub teens.
The forecast for the coming weekend is showing us weather falling as low as -30C. Instead we are heading to China to sunbathe and bask in heady weather that promises +1C if we are lucky. Break out the t-shirts, unpack the shorts...
Mongolian of the day:- snow :: tsas