Not sure what made me wonder about latitude but it is something I find fascinating and often surprising when I start comparing cities across the world. Olhão da Restauração’s coordinates are 37.0260416 and the longitude is: -7.8423509, so I admit not quite the same as San Francisco (37°47′N 122°25′W) but close enough for my headline!

Whilst there are many factors which determine weather such as altitude, proximity to the sea, ocean currents, and prevailing winds, it is latitude which is the most important factor. Areas on the same latitude will have similar climates even if they are in the southern hemisphere. Latitudes between 30 and 38, either side of the equator, are known as the Horse Latitudes. ships-that-passAs usual with unusual and old descriptions there are a variety of explanations for the term. All seem to agree it is a maritime term but after that the etymology differs significantly hence not going into detail here. For more information follow the link. I quite like the one about the ceremony, a ceremony I suspect which like these ships has probably disappeared from these waters these days.

Areas within the Horse Latitudes have subtropical climates, which means warm to hot summers and cool to mild winters. Frosts are rare. Bliss! However as I explained in the previous paragraph there are many factors which determine weather. And today it is the prevailing winds and our proximity to the sea which are dominating the weather. Just see below. Very blustery and wet this morning, such a change from our day on the beach on Friday. Great excuse though to share my weather photographs and write this post!

Before I go and in case you are now wondering Lisboa is 38°43′N 9°08′W, which is about the same as Washington DC. Whereas London at 51°30′N 0°08′W is in a cool temperate climate, and most places on this latitude have incredibly cold winters. The only reason the UK’s tend to be wet rather than freezing is because of the Gulf Stream. Let’s return though to some more weather shots, as with the ones above these were all taken from our balcony. These though were all taken at the same time in the afternoon over a period of days earlier this year. The climate may be mild but the weather can vary enormously day to day.