Spain faces a week of “thermal slides”

by Lorraine Williamson
thermal slides

MADRID – This weekend the weather in Spain is characterised by rising temperatures and atmospheric stability. However, the ‘June-like’ weather won’t last long. From Monday we know again that we are still living in March. The Spanish newspaper 20Minutos talks about “thermal slides”.

With this, the newspaper refers to the effect we know as “March blusters” or “March stirs his tail”. The shift of the high-pressure area to the east clears space for a front to cross the Iberian Peninsula from west to east on Monday. 

That results in precipitation in the north and a mass of cold air behind it. This will cause a remarkable drop in temperature on Monday. Then, from Tuesday, a new mobile dorsal is expected to cover the peninsula from north to south. This will cause another thermal slide between Wednesday and Thursday with rising temperatures. 

At the end of the week, Meteored meteorologists do not rule out that the mercury will drop again. That is why they predict “a strongly variable week”. 

Big differences in one week 

According to Meteored, it will rain frequently on Monday on the Cantabrian slope, in the Pyrenees and northwestern Galicia. In the northern half of Spain, the most notable will be the marked drop in maximum temperatures, between 7 and 10 ºC in some areas compared to Sunday’s relatively high values. 

According to the reference model, there is no rain in the entire southern half of the country and along the Mediterranean Sea. Here the temperatures drop less quickly. On Tuesday, the showers will ease and give way to another episode of stability that could last until Thursday or Friday. Then the arrival of new fronts cannot be ruled out. 

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Rain during the Fallas in Valencia? 

Although everything indicates that little rain will fall in Valencia between March 14 and 19, uncertainty remains high for the end of the Fallas week. No rain is expected at least until Friday the 18th. After that, outside cannot be completely ruled out. 

Is 30ºC normal in March in Spain? 

One will answer this question in the affirmative because they can remember a warm day in March. The other finds this heat extreme before the middle of March. Eltiempo.es has investigated and confirmed that it has been this warm before, but the occurrence of these high temperatures is “rare and abnormal”. 

The weather site examined the weather stations in the period 1961-2022. Most stations in Spain have never recorded 30ºC in March. In Madrid – Retiro, for example, 30ºC has never been reached. In fact, the absolute maximum for the month of March, since 1920, is 26.7ºC (30-03-2015). 

Looking at stations with maximum temperatures equal to or above 30ºC, in Santander, for example, one maximum has been recorded since 1961 above this threshold. It is more common further south. For example, Badajoz has recorded temperatures above this range 3 times, Córdoba – Airport 7 times and Seville 11 times since 1961. 

Along the Mediterranean, there are more cases where 30ºC was exceeded at this time in March. That was 7 times for both Valencia and Alicante. Murcia is the station that has had 21 days since 1985 with maximum temperatures above 30ºC. 

Related post: Early summer in Spain: abnormally warm with 30ºC this weekend 

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