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A March snowstorm in Barcelona: climate vs weather

March 8, 2010 and it snowed in Barcelona. This is a city where the average low temperature for the month is 9 degrees. The very unusual snowstorm caused the city to semi-shutdown: the buses stopped running, schools shut down and some neighborhoods lost electricity.

El Niño probably played a hand in this. After all, it is the year for this phenomenon, a climate pattern that occurs every 3-7 years when fluctuations in Pacific-Ocean surface temperatures cause changes in worldwide weather. But despite being the year for a bit of craziness, it’s still a very strange thing to see snow at sea level in Barcelona.

While scientists have predicted more extreme weather events (droughts, hurricanes, snowstorms) will be side effects of by global warming, crazy weather is not climate change: weather is what happens today and climate is what happens in a decade or a century.

Still, it’s impossible to live experience a Mediterranean snowstorm in March and not ask questions, at least regarding the state of worldwide weather connectedness.

In this video, we took out our camera in Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter, to the seaside and on the terrace of the faircompanies headquarters/home to document the crazy weather and 3-year-old Inés’ first snowstorm. And Barcelona native and faircompanies founder Nicolás Boullosa muses on what it all means.