February 11, 2013

Tormenta en la cuidad

It was the end to another sweltering day here in Buenos Aires with a high of 33 degrees. Yesterday's late afternoon sky was dark and heavy with cloud. At about 6pm we were walking towards the Subte to go to a play downtown. In the time it took to walk across the street the few drops of rain we felt turned into a deluge. We took shelter in a storefront doorway. These thunderstorms are usually short lived affairs, though this one proved different.

Throughout the city, thunder, lightning, hail and heavy rain caused traffic problems, power outages, and delays and closings to some train and subway lines. Multiple lanes of main avenues, and sidewalks too, were under water.

The national weather service, reported a seven degree drop in temperature between 6 and 7 pm, and 30 mm of rain. Wind gusts exceeded 60 km/h. The storm continued for another hour, subsiding to showers which ended near midnight. Not particularly significant numbers to people from Canada's south-west coast, but obviously a problem here.

Foolishly, in hindsight, we actually ended up taking a taxi to the Teatro San Martin where we were to see Macbeth. Surprisingly we made it in time, but the performance was cancelled due to the weather. We took a second wild and crazy taxi to a restaurant in Barrio Norte. Our taxi driver on this trip drove at a high rate of speed, without slowing for corners. To warn motorists and pedestrians alike of his approach to intersections, he flicked his brights repeatedly as he sailed through stop signs and red lights, it made no difference. His four way flashers were on continuously, negating the need for any signaling. It was a fun ride. The restaurant was forgettable at best, though the wine was nice.

The last two photos on the right are from the newspaper, La Nacion. The traffic jam is on one of the major freeways entering the city, and apparently duplicated throughout the metro region.

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