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'May 40th': Why an old Spanish weather saying rings true this week

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'May 40th': Why an old Spanish weather saying rings true this week
Photo: wollwerth/Depositphotos
16:42 CEST+02:00
There's a well-known expression in Spain that you might hear being bandied around this week.

“Hasta el cuarenta de Mayo no te quites el sayo”

Translated into English it means, “until the 40th May, don't go out without a tunic”

The 40th May doesn't correspondent to an actual date of course but is taken to refer to the specific date of June 9th and we know no one wears tunics anymore..

When can only surmise that ‘Junio' doesn't lend itself to a rhyme with any sort of outer clothing.

READ MORE:  10 phrases to discuss the weather like a true Spaniard

But the expression – which first appeared in a poem by Rodriguez Marón dating from 1896 .- is taken to mean that one can rely on summer weather being a constant until well after the end of May.

In other words- don't pack away the winter clothes until you are sure summer is here.

And this week the weather reminds us of the truth of the saying.

After a few weeks that seemed to herald the start of summer, temperatures are plummeting again.

Tuesday sees an area of low pressure spread across the north of the peninsula bringing a cold wind and rain across the Cantabrian coast to the Pyrenees.

And Spain's eastern Mediterranean coast aren't much drier, where temperatures were predicted to be up to 15C lower than is typical of this time of year.

Spain's National Weather Agency (AEMET) warned that temperatures across the northern half of the country will plummet to below 5C in some places and  dropping below 0C in mountain areas.

Some places even experienced a new dump of snow.

The cold weather was predicted to last until the weekend when the mercury would start to climb to temperatures more normal for June.

Only Malaga was exempt with a map revealing it to be the only hot spot in Spain.

QUIZ: How well do you know your Spanish idioms?

 
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