Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Sistema Frontal

The wind is whistling through the windows, and the rain is coming down so hard on the metal carports 4 floors below us it sounds like a roaring waterfall. Welcome to the world of the sistema frontal in Chile.

These weather systems sweep down from the northwest during late autumn and winter, mostly affecting the central region (where we live), and points south. These systems include strong winds and torential down-pours, but almost never any thunder or lightning. Tornados are extremely rare in Chile, and the southern hemisphere in general, from what I understand. (There was one in the Bío-Bío region (in the south) a year ago).
Last week, a sistema missed us, but hit the south very hard. These images are from Concepcion and Lota from last Thursday:

from: http://santiagotimes.cl/rain-causes-blackouts-floods-injuries-south-central-chile/

I understand street flooding is very common in Viña and Valpo, due to a lack of storm drains. I do know that on my way home to day around 3 p.m., just after the rain started there was already standing water in some spots. I also need to get a good umbrella. One of the front desk staff and I discussed the general uselessness of puny folding umbrella when I came in this afternoon. He got out his umbrella and pointed out the need for a strong umbrella that won't turn inside out in the wind.

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