MADRID – The spring that officially started on Saturday will be warmer all over Spain. But especially in the east of the country and in the Balearic Islands. Meteorologists also predict that the generally wet northwest of the country will experience drier weather.
These predictions follow a winter of great extremes. According to Beatriz Hervella, spokesman for the Spanish meteorological institute Aemet, the most likely scenario is that Spain will have “average temperatures in April, May and June at least 0.5 degrees above normal” in the peninsula and the Balearic Islands.
At a press conference on the spring forecasts and winter review, Aemet’s spokesperson also emphasised that models indicate that there will be less rainfall. It will also be drier than usual in the northwest of the country.
Last winter appears to have been the sixth warmest and rainiest winter of this century. Remarkable here were the eight severe storms that passed over parts of the country in December, January and February. Storm Filomena brought extremely heavy and unusual snowfall. There have also been many days with Saharian dust in the air.
According to Hervella, it was also a winter with “big weather changes in a short time”. It ranged from freezing cold days to days when heat records were broken. For example, in January there were two cold spells. One of which, following the historic snowfall of storm Filomena, lasted eight days (January 11-18), with temperature records even below 25 degrees below zero. This was the second most important cold snap of the 21st century in duration and intensity, after the cold snap in December 2001, which made the first half of January 2021 the second coldest in the series (1961).
After this cold, the second half of the month was “the warmest since 1961, equal to 1966,” said the spokesman. Countless heat records were again broken during this period. Alicante reached the highest maximum recorded in a month of January at 29.8 degrees on January 29.
Remarkably, last winter brought three heat records for the highest maximum temperature (Alicante, Ibiza and Tortosa); a record for the lowest maximum temperature (Torrejón-Madrid); one record for the highest minimum temperature (Getafe-Madrid) and three absolute records for the minimum temperature (Madrid, Teruel and Toledo).
In terms of rainfall, it was the sixth rainiest winter of the 21st century, with 218 litres per square metre collected across Spain, which is 11 percent above normal values. It was humid or very humid in the northwest, central and eastern interior of the peninsula and “extremely humid” at the Cantabrian Sea. On the other hand, it was very dry in the Mediterranean parts of the peninsula and in the Balearic Islands, while the Canary Islands experienced a ‘normal winter’.