The Winds of the Pyrenees Orientales: Background information when reading Rat

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Rat

A Novel

By Fernanda Eberstadt

Rat

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Beyond the Book:
The Winds of the Pyrenees Orientales

"The Pyrenees-Orientales is the Command Center of winds. Here they all congregate, quarrel, barter and rule. There are said to be 119 different winds in the Pyrenees-Orientales. (If you could sell wind we'd be rich, people used to say in the days before the foothills got sown with rows of gigantic new turbines, without bringing a marked improvement to anybody's fortunes."

p.27 of Rat.

Here are five of those winds:

The Tramontane:  Dry, cold and often violent, carrying air from polar regions. In summer it brings clear blue skies and relief from the heat.  In winter it just brings cold air. If the weather over the Mediterranean Sea is perturbed the Tramontane can cause heavy rain: Quan plou de tramuntana, plou de gana - When the Tramontane rains, it really rains.

The Narbonnaise: A north wind resembling the tramontana. If associated with an influx of arctic air, it may be very stormy with heavy falls of rain or snow. It is ...

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