July 2008 Douro Insider

As one would have expected for a Portuguese July, it certainly got off to a hot start, but less predictably it was also rather muggy.  Proximity to the river increases evaporation and obviously exacerbates the humidity.  Meanwhile, as the  water warms up, algae gradually turn the Douro a  slightly sinister greenish shade.  But the summer that we all thought had finally arrived at the end of June turned out to be fairly short-lived or perhaps yet another false start.  The high temperatures soon evaporated and we then had another few days of what can only be considered very cool weather for the time of year.  One or two days barely crept above 20º C, and the nights were, frankly, cold.  Daily minimums below 10º are not usually part of the script.  In spite of the cool temperatures it was still an exceptionally dusty month (much worse even than the usual gritty situation) as the rain held off and some gusty winds desiccated the topsoil.  After the second week things began to heat up again, peaking around the 20th when southerly winds brought some real African heat to Iberia.  It then began to tail off once more, and we had a dodgy end of month, especially the last day.  This gave us a rough pattern of one cool week, two warm weeks, and then another cool week to finish off. Full Report

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