I was on holiday in the Canaries with my family last week and half way through the week the weather suddenly warmed up several degrees.Our hosts told us that this was the Levanto, a hot south-easterly wind which blows over the Canary Islands.A further suggestion that it was simply the Sirocco.

Another person called it the Leveche which when I looked it up was explained as a hot southerly wind in advance of a low pressure area moving from the Sahara Desert.

Spanish not being my fuerte I got confused between Levanto and Leveche so settled on Sirocco as a name for this phenomenon that I knew – after all VW named a very nice car after it.

But now I find that Levanto has more to do with Chianti than Rioja – “a hidden gem on the Italian Riviera, the doorway to the Cinque Terre.”

So now I am looking for sponsorship to do my field research.

The plan is straightforward. I will return to the Canary Islands and wait at the beach bar until the wind returns.

I will then conduct a survey asking each person on the bar what the wind is called and how it is caused. To achieve statistical accuracy I will have make sure that I ask at least 5000 people so I can assure myself that the significant answers come only from native Canarians.

I may have to be gone for quite a while so keep the sponsorship coming.

Copyright © Stuart Danton 2007


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