Weather code orange in Málaga for meteotsunamis

by Lorraine Williamson

MáLAGA – The rain, which has resulted in the wettest month of March ever and more reserves for the reservoirs in the province of Málaga, will start again after a short break of a few days after Sunday. This will include meteotsunamis.

The Spanish weather institute Aemet warns with code orange from midnight from Saturday to Sunday for severe coastal phenomena, including meteotsunamis. The winds come from the east and northeast with forces 8 to 9. Together with a sudden change in air pressure and temperature, this can cause waves up to 10 metres high, writes Europapress. 

Weather warning until Monday night 

The orange weather warning will remain in effect until midnight Monday to Tuesday in the Costa del Sol, Guadalhorce, and Axarquía areas. In the first two, the chance of precipitation is between 40 and 70%. 

Just like on Saturday, daytime temperatures on Sunday will be pleasant to around 19 degrees. However, the weather institute warns that the weather change is expected towards the end of the weekend. This is the result of a mass of polar air from the north referred to as ‘Storm Cyril’. 

That polar air ensures that the maximum temperature is 16 degrees and the minimum temperature fluctuates around 10 degrees. 

Is Calima coming back? 

Málaga Hoy newspaper writes that after the effects of the mass of dust from the desert during the first half of last week, meteorologists do not expect the phenomenon to return with the new rain showers. So no more mud rain. Good news for those who started cleaning. 

Wettest month of March ever 

March was the wettest month of the hydrological year. Until Tuesday, 208 litres of precipitation per square metre were recorded. The average for the month was 52 m2. It rained four times more than normal for the month of March. 

Cogesa Expats

In the entire hydrological year (from October to October), according to Aemet, 60% of the precipitation fell which is normally expected. In that sense, 40% of the precipitation is still missing to get to an average level of precipitation, while the months in which it usually rains the most have already passed. 

Reservoirs Málaga 

Not everyone was happy with the rain, but it has been good for nature and the water resources in the province. The water reservoirs are now at 48% of their capacity according to the Hidrosur network. A total of 295.77 cubic hectometres has been added. That is 74 hm3 more than last Thursday. As a result, the reservoirs are now almost as full as they were a year ago, while some are reaching almost 50% of their capacity. 

See also: Recent rains good for water levels in Spanish reservoirs 

What are meteotsunamis? 

Aemet also warns against meteotsunamis with the colour orange, according to Europa Press. Those are destructive sea waves with the same characteristics as when a real tsunami forms. Only the origin of a meteotsunami does not lie in earthquakes or sliding tectonic plates, but in weather phenomena. 

How does a meteor shower occur? 

According to Aemet, a meteotsunami forms when there are small but sudden changes in atmospheric pressure, between 1 and 3 hPa. Those changes contribute to the passing of fronts and the change of air masses. In this case, it occurs when a mass of cold air breaks into the peninsula. Meteotsunamis are also caused by gusts or gravitational waves. This translates into a rising swell at sea. 


An orange weather code means ‘major risk’. No matter how spectacular it may seem, don’t venture too close to the coast, for example, to take pictures of metres high waves. It will not be the first time that interested parties have been swept away by such a wave, with sometimes fatal consequences.

Related post: Reservoirs at lowest level since 1995


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