Autumn likely to start with record high temperatures

by Lorraine Williamson
autumn temperatures

Several weather records have already been broken in Spain so far in 2023 and this looks set to continue into early autumn. Are summer temperatures coming? 

Where Spaniards normally speak of ‘veranillo de San Miguel’, ‘veranillo del membrillo’ or ‘veranillo de los arcángeles’ – the summer of the archangels – it now seems more likely to be a ‘veroño’. This contraction of verano (summer) and otoño (autumn) indicates that ‘summer eats part of autumn’, explains meteorologist Francisco Martín León, employee of the Spanish weather service Meteored.  

Autumn temperatures

Martín León indicates that ‘the “veranillo” refers to higher than normal temperatures’, while ‘the “veroño” indicates July and August temperatures. The forecasts point to the second phenomenon. He explains that in some areas – for example in the Guadalquivir valley – temperatures could reach 36º, ‘and some models even give maximum temperatures up to 37º’, values he describes as ‘extraordinarily high’.  

‘It is even possible that records could be broken for this time of year,’ he adds. Martín León also warns of the effects of this phenomenon in arid regions: ‘Precipitation will be completely absent for several days in September and early October, and the outlook is negative because there are areas like Andalucia, with high temperatures, thermal stress, increased evaporation and lack of precipitation forming an unfavourable cocktail for the expected autumn rains’.  

According to Francisco Martín León, a series of cumulative factors are causing the temperature rise. First, the arrival of an anticyclone and the sunny weather expected in the coming days. But in most warm areas, such as the south-west of the peninsula, Extremadura, Andalucia, western Castilla-la Mancha or Murcia, Madrid, the Guadalquivir Valley or the Tagus Valley, “the entry of air from North Africa is decisive for warming”. 

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In other areas, these cumulative factors do not occur. There, temperatures will not reach such high levels, but end up around the 30ºC mark. This is the case in the Canary Islands, the Balearic Islands, Valencia, Catalonia and the Cantabrian coast. East winds will bring some cooling there.  

The fact that these warm air masses will remain in Spain at least until Sunday is due to a change in the trend of recent years. Martín Léon reports that the warm anticyclone phenomenon “persists longer in our latitudes” and means the atmosphere and oceans have “more capacity to retain more heat”. 

AEMET predicts 10 days of stable and warm weather 

According to Spanish weather service AEMET, the next 10 days will see stable weather in most of the country with maximum temperatures experiencing a ‘progressive increase’, especially from Thursday, with higher values than normal for autumn.  

‘These values are more typical of late August than late September or early October’, especially in the southern half of the peninsula, with maximum temperatures between 5 and 10 degrees above normal for this time of year, confirmed Rubén del Campo, AEMET spokesman. 

Also read: Andalucia in autumn

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