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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Weather in August!

Let's talk about the weather here in Uruguay.

The promised August storm may or may not have come! I can't figure it out. We have had some fierce rains dropping bucketfuls in a matter of minutes. We have had thunderstorms which have caused my ritualistic running around to unplug everything. We even had hail a few days ago. However, we didn't have them back to back for a 3 day marathon that usually signifies a real "Saintly" Tormenta, a storm front.

Instead, we have had a mix of hot, up to 73 degree F. days down to 46 degree F. days all in one week's time frame. On August 14th at 6 in the morning it was 37 degrees F.

Someone recently thought that the weather might be an interesting topic so I'll give you the following forecast for this coming week. This is based from Montevideo the capital, up the coast where I live just add a little more wind with the prediction.

Tuesday, will be cloudy and rainy but the sun is suppose to peak out.

Hi: 58 °F
Lo: 53 °F
Hi: 56 °F
Lo: 51 °F
Hi: 59 °F
Lo: 49 °F
Hi: 53 °F
Lo: 45 °F
Hi: 49 °F
Lo: 43 °F
Hi: 48 °F
Lo: 43 °F
Hi: 50 °F
Lo: 43 °F
    Tuesday      Wednesday    Thursday       Friday           Saturday      
Hi: 48 °F
Lo: 43 °F

For the next 4 days it's suppose to rain or have a chance of rain (Tuesday-Friday). Tuesday night promises a thunderstorm. Saturday there will be sun with some small clouds (partly cloudy).  Sunday will live up to its name and be a purely sunny day with no clouds at all shown, Yet, it will also have the coldest day's temperature at 48 degrees F. It seems like, it should be the warmest day? Oh well! 

When I know that it's going to be a day with lightenings and thunders then I don't bother opening up the shutters. I don't want to get wet for a dark day. However, My house with all of its enormous windows is usually quite bright during the day and I don't need to turn on any lights. So I tend to miss the cheery atmosphere inside on dark days. 

I solved that problem last week during a thunderstorm by huddling up with my desk chair and a TV tray near my back window, the only one without a shutter (it has bars though). There the whole household gang congregated. I also pushed my little heater right up to us. I didn't want to start a full on wood stove fire because the day was oddly not cold just dreary. 

I stayed almost all day there at my make shift desk using the opportunity of staying indoors to try another attempt at figuring out the Spanish language and its many rules.

I was trying to tackle when to use the definite article "The", or in this case El, La, Los and Las (See Spanish has to have 4 the's!) and when not to use it. The dictionary started me out with a great sentence, "I like beer, but I don't like wine." (not true, I like both!) Well, in Spanish, you have to say "I like the beer but I don't like the wine. You have to use the definite article "the" with the beer and the wine because this implies you like all beer in general. In other words, nouns that are used to represent all of the thing need the definite article. The sentence would look like this in Spanish; "Me gusta la cerveza, pero no me gusta el vino."

Abstract nouns need the definite article since they represent the idea as a whole. Justice, would need "the" in front of it for La justicia.

Names of academic subjects like mathematics and physics need 'the" in front. Las matemáticas, la fisica. But not names of professions, occupations, religious or political convictions. "Mi padre es médico.", "Ella es Católica; él es comunista." (él with the accent mark means, "he" NOT "the"!)

Names of languages need 'the" in front of them for example;  el español, el francés, but not names of countries. They are considered proper nouns (like the name of a person). There are a few exceptions, of Course! Worth mentioning are; el Uruguay, la Argentina, el Brazil, la India ,el Japón, and el Peru. The names of these countries are preceded by the definite article.You are now allowed to say just United States, as it has come to be regarded as a proper noun in its own right. So you don't have to say Los Estados Unidos anymore (if you wish) but only Estados Unidos (Who knew?)

While you use the definite article with languages and academic subjects; Don't use "the" after the words hablar and estudiar (to speak and To study). For example; "Estudia matemáticas." "He is studying mathematics." and "¿Hablas español?" or "Do you speak Spanish?"

Another point regarding languages and academic subjects; Don't use "the" after the words en and de (in and of) for example; "El libro es escrito en español." or "The book is written in Spanish." 

The names of persons don't need "the" in front unless a person's name is proceeded by a title, like Mr. or General then it's; el señor Glass or el general Glass.

In general physical descriptions and body parts use "The" La cabeza (or the head) etc..

The list goes on and on. Then my lesson came around to beer again. This time I wasn't suppose to use the definite article "the" when expressing indefinite quanties. The sentence the dictionary gave me was; "no quiero vino, siempre bebo cerveza." or "I don't want (any) wine, I always drink beer." Okay, to me that seems a lot like, that first sentence about beer and wine that I started out with. So by now everything, was definitely looking indefinite. So I poured myself some wine and wondered when the thunderstorm would pass, so I could go to the store and buy beer. So much for my studying! At least, I was in my house, warm and cozy waiting out the rapidly changing weather here in Uruguay.

P.s. I didn't get this post out until Tuesday and yes, we had rain and fog today, now I'm just waiting for the promised thunderstorm tonight!


Phil said...


Thanks for an interesting (and educational) post.

Wow, what a gray sky that is in the photo! It surely must make for a dreary day.

Obviously, August is not the right month to plan on touring el Uruguay. (I sure did not know about Uruguay and those few other countries that require the 'el').

I know Dec/Jan are probably prime months to travel & tour (but prices for hotels, etc. are much higher).

When do you think is the best time to visit Uruguay to have the best weather possible and also the lowest prices available? Kind of the best of both worlds.

Thanks & Best regards,

Denise said...

Dear Phil,

Your right in thinking that Dec, and Jan. are the most expensive months for tourism. Those months are called the High season. However, try the months just before and just after those ,Nov and February, respectively. In those months the weather is still warm and they're not considered the high season.

A good guide is to look online at a particular hotel and see what THEY consider their mid-season to be and their low. Rates change dramatically but sometimes only a few weeks away from the high can be considered another rate's season.

I'm glad I got to review my language lesson, Wally who picks up languages easier than I, doesn't let me rattle on about what I'm learning. He says, it confuses his ability to just speak it. I on the other hand have to know why something is so. Which is also my down fall.

Iggy RYKKARD said...

Hi Denise, Hi Wally !

Hope all goes fine with you.
Please note that "Santa Rosa Storm" occures every year around 31st AUGUST.

For this coming weekend, the weather forecast indicates it might snow over Uruguay, mainly in hills all along Maldonado and Rocha. Kindly read the following article for further info, which also would be of help to practice your Spanish.

Finally, when somebody says "El Uruguay" is referring to the Uruguay River, but when saying "Uruguay", refers to the country. Anyway, do not worry about "Article vs. Not Article", since everybody mess it up, even broadcasters, the press, etc, etc.

Best Regards for both of you from Montevideo's Old Town.
Iggy (

Denise said...

Dear Iggy,
Thanks for the heads up, on when the Santa Rosa Tormenta is due. I knew it was due in August but I confused the first week for the last.

Just saying "Uruguay" will be a lot easier! The Dictionary said that most countries didn't need the definite article anyway. It just listed a few exceptions that supposedly did. I guess Uruguay and the United States have decided to join the majority of the other countries of the world in leaving the word "the" out.

We've had some frost on the ground here but I believe if it snows in Maldonado it will be news indeed!
Thanks for the updates!

Take care and keep warm :-)