The Rain in Spain Falls Mainly… in Rías Baixas
Galicia, the Spanish province that is home to DO Rias Baixas, is often referred to as “Green Spain,” and for good reason. This province receives more rain than any other in Spain, hence the hillsides that hug the Atlantic coastline are green and lush all year round. Rias Baixas sees the bulk of that rain every year with an average rainfall of 67 inches annually. This is nearly twice the amount of rain that any other DO in Galicia receives! (DOs Ribeiro and Valdeorras are the next rainiest with an average of 35 inches annually.)
With so much rain falling in Galicia each year, is it any wonder that the local people have developed 100+ words and phrases to describe rain? These include words in Spanish and the Gallego (local Galician) dialect such as chuvia (regular rain), babuxada (soft persistent rain with windy conditions), babuña (rain that reflects the sound of a drooly baby), arroiada (strong rain), and torbón (rain with lightning and thunder).
In Rias Baixas, rainy season begins as early as late September and can continue through April. January and February are the rainiest months with most days having at least some rainfall. So, if you find yourself in Rias Baixas in late fall, winter or early spring, here are some more commonly used words that should help you out.
Orballo – Gentle and light rain in a low-intensity
Chuvisca – Gentle rain that lasts longer periods of time and feels as though it will never stop
Babuxada – Gentle rain with persistent wind
Battuere – An intense and ephemeral rain
Cebra – Strong rain
Chaparrada – Short and intense tropical rain
Froallo – Rain that is fluffy and misty like a wisp of wool
Cebrina – Rain with soft snow that melts immediately
Patiñeira – Rain with the sound of walking in puddles
Sarabiada – Rain that falls on ice and snow