Viento Sur

November 14, 2011 By: erik Category: Photography, Photos, Spain 153 views

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November SkiesIn October and November, it’s very typical here to get strong winds coming from the south blowing warm African air over the Iberian peninsula. The Spaniards call it viento sur (south wind), and there is a mythology similar to that of full moons where the wind from the south makes odd people just a little more crazy. I have a love/hate relationship with viento sur.

On the one hand, it provides pleasant temperate weather (20ºC this week!) to hold Old Man Winter at bay for a little longer. It also generates some fantastic cloud textures ripe for photography. However, I live on the sixth floor with little protection from the wind, so it makes the shutters on our windows vibrate very loudly at night. We bought our house in late September 2005, and that October we were seriously questioning our decision as we sat awake at night listening to our building whistle and vibrate. The viento sur keeps both my camera and window shutters moving.

Last week I set up my DSLR to capture a timelapse of the clouds to see them swirl, but they were blowing by so fast that it wasn’t worth publishing the video.

Here are some photos I captured with my iPhone camera on my midday walk today.

November Skies

November Skies

November Skies

You may remember these street lights from last week.

November Skies

November Skies

See how the striations zigzag back and forth? Odd!

November Skies

Crazy November skies!

  • Bnann

    It always seemed off to me how people complained about Viento Sur when I moved to Spain.
    In India, S-W (monsoon) winds bring long-awaited “pleasant weather & rains” after the scorching summer heat and countless songs and poems have been written to them.
    Then I found during a visit to Munich, weird,unexpected behaviour by locals being attributed to “Foehn” wind (south wind)!!

  • Jimy

    When I first moved to Spain I was amazed at how people talked about wind. Levante, poniente, norte,sur…I thought. “it’s just wind!!  What a difference 17 years makes.

  • José

    I can relate it to “viento norte” here in Uruguay. It brings warm air and those same clouds, but it isn’t usually strong and there is no much folklore about it. “Viento Pampero” (wind from SW) takes tha place of the most talked about wind, with its own special name and all. It’s cold, dry and usually much stronger.

  • Thanks for sharing it and please keep doing this good job .