Atypical weather in Spain this week

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WEATHER – In the middle of the Spanish winter, spring-like weather arrives again. Meteorological and anticyclonic stability dominates the weather picture until the end of the week.

The second week of February is expected to be marked by a new anticyclonic situation, especially the first half of that week. This is what Rubén Del Campo, spokesperson for AEMET, says on the website. The models of the Spanish National Weather Institute indicate mainly dry and sunny weather. Furthermore, the temperatures are above the normal values ​​for February.

Clouds will increase from Thursday, still with a fair amount of uncertainty, and from Friday a new front will bring rain in large parts of the north of the peninsula.

Temperatures show maxima rising throughout the week and falling from Friday. As for the wind, AEMET expects it to be predominantly from the east. This one is generally mediocre. Only in the Strait of Gibraltar does a strong ‘Levante’ blow. The Ebro Valley and the Balearic Islands will experience strong northwesterly winds.

A dry year

Since the hydrological year started on October 1, 2021, an average of 192 litres per square metre fell across Spain until February 1. The normal value for this period is around 299 litres. According to AEMET, precipitation this year has fallen by 36% from what is seen as normal. In January, only a quarter of the normal amount of rain fell in all of Spain. Some points in Girona and most of the Guadalquivir basin are already experiencing water restrictions.

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Last week, water supplies fell again to 44.8% of capacity, according to AEMET. That is almost 15 points below the average of the last 10 years. In other words, the reserves now store almost 25% less water than usual.

No rain in the short term weather forecast

According to Del Campo, AEMET expects little rain in the short term (for this week) based on the models. In the medium term (for all of February) “the models point to rainfall below normal values ​​in most of Spain.” And in the long run (for the next three months), the models give a 50% chance that rainfall will be below average and only 20% that it will be above.

Between October and April, almost 75% of the year’s rainfall normally falls in Spain. “If most of the rain doesn’t fall in those seven months, it can be difficult to compensate for the rest of the months, because the summer is almost always very dry,” emphasises Del Campo.

Guadalquivir basin extremely dry

Leandro del Moral, professor of human geography at the University of Seville, explains it differently: “As long as it doesn’t rain, it will be very difficult”. According to this expert, the Guadalquivir in Andalusia is one of the red dots on the country’s hydrological map. An extraordinary drought situation has been declared here in 80% of the catchment since November.

Water restrictions are increasing in Andalucia

According to the Hydrographic Confederation of the Guadalquivir, restrictions will increase given the continued lack of rain. At the moment, the confederation can guarantee the supply for consumption for two years. “That’s based on the experience of the major droughts of the 1990s because irrigation can never leave the population without water,” says Del Moral.

Dry weather in Alt Empordà, Catalonia

Another red dot on the Spanish drought map is Alt Empordà (Girona). Here, in October, the Catalan Water Agency (ACA) issued a drought alert in 22 municipalities. That warning will remain in effect in the absence of rain. The restrictions are also maintained. For example, the authorities limit the general water consumption per person and the use of water for agricultural irrigation, livestock, and industry.

Also, dry in Galicia

Galicia has not yet reached the situation of Catalonia and Andalucia. Yet here the Miño-Sil Hydrographic Confederation is “vigilant” in the face of an unusually dry winter. Moreover, since October, reserves are almost 45% lower than the historical average. “Short-term forecasts point to a dry February,” the confederation said. The last drought that Galicia had to endure dates from the autumn and winter of 2017.

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