Week ninety-six: CHUBASCO (probability 38754), by David Sutton

A CHUBASCO is a violent thunderstorm, from the Portuguese chuva, rain. This is one of many exotic local words for weather phenomena. Other words relating specifically to storms include BURA or BURAN, a violent blizzard blowing from the northeast in Siberia and central Asia; BOURASQUE, a French word for a tempest; HABOOB, a violent dust storm or sandstorm, especially in Sudan along the southern edges of the Sahara; CALIMA, a dust storm or cloud that spreads from the Sahara into southern Europe; and TEBBAD, another word for a sandstorm.

On a less ORAGIOUS but still blustery note, words for local winds are particularly numerous. A BAYAMO is a strong wind, especially one blowing from the bight of Bayamo (the capital city of Granma Province, Cuba). A BHUT or BHOOT is a small whirlwind in India. The CHINOOK is a warm dry wind that descends the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains. The FOHN or FOEHN is a hot dry wind that blows down Alpine valleys.

Turning to desert winds, the SAMIEL (or SHAMAL or SHIMAAL) is a hot dry north wind that carries sand in desert places of North Africa. The SIROCCO (or SIROC or SCIROC or SCIROCCO) is a hot, dry, dusty wind blowing from North Africa to the North Mediterranean coastline; in Libya it is called the GHIBLI; in Egypt it is known as the KHAMSIN (or KAMSEEN or KAMSIN or KHAMSEEN). The HARMATTAN is a dry dusty wind from the Sahara blowing towards the W. African coast.

And to end on a cooler note, the MISTRAL is a strong cold dry north-east wind that blows through the Rhone valley towards the Mediterranean. The BORA is a violent cold north wind that blows from the mountains (usually in the winter) towards the east coast of the Adriatic. The GREGALE is a northeast wind in the Mediterranean, while the PAMPERO is a violent southwest wind on or from the pampas.


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