Tempo da Lupi…

Lupi1

Tempo da Lupi is a quaint way of saying wet winter weather in Italian. There’s no sure explanation why it’s used, but the most reasonable explanation is that wolves are particularly active in winter hunting for scarce prey, and that the only animals that have the guts to get out in weather like this are wolves.

Friuli has a bad reputation as a dark, depressing and rainy place. In my opinion, it’s not that bad, and Friulani simply like to complain… Especially on a day like today, with the bora blowing cold and hard and rain making it even less pleasant. Tempo da Lupi!Lupi2

So I decided to do a little digging and found some interesting facts about Friulian weather:

Udine gets an average of about 1100 millimeters of rain per year. That’s about 43 inches, for the metric-impaired. For this, Friuli is called the pisciatoia d’Italia, or the “urinal of Italy”. That’s understandable when compared to Napoli (660mm/26 inches), but “sunny” Rome gets 970mm/38 inches per year on average-barely 5 inches less per year!

What’s more, I’ve never heard people talk about Torino being a “urinal” when it gets 1300mm/53 inches per year! Ten inches more!

By comparison, Seattle, WA gets only 38 inches of rain a year, while New York City gets 45!

Speaking of Seattle, I thought about cloudy days, and discovered that Seattle has about 200 cloudy days per year. While New York City has about 132 cloudy days per year.

I couldn’t find direct statistics on cloudy days in Friuli, but I did find that Udine has an average of 112 rainy days per year. If we figure there is a percentage of cloudy days without rain (let’s go crazy and say 30 days) that brings the total to about 140 cloudy days per year… not much worse than New York and certainly better than Seattle…

Like I said, Friulani like to complain. Imagine if they had to live in Seattle…

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3 thoughts on “Tempo da Lupi…

  1. Viz

    I was born in Friuli in 1947, and came to America in 1958 on the USS Constitution.
    I would like to mention also that the close proximity of the Dolomite mountains makes much of Friuli a prime location for some grand hail storms along with the rain. There were some years when the wine production was dramatically reduced due to the violent storms.
    Over the years many growers have installed protective netting in order to protect their harvests.

    Reply
  2. Wayne

    Certainly some areas are much more prone to hail than others, and in recent years it has become more of a problem.
    We have gotten hit with at least a little hail a few times, the worst possibly in 2001.
    Nets are helpful but require lots of labor, so only those at high risk bother using them.
    More common is “hail insurance” which will reimburse you for lost fruit in case of severe hail.
    Hail is also a big problem for fruit production (apples, plums, pears…) because only the perfect, unbruised ones are chosen for supermarkets…

    Reply

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