This winter will be warmer than usual after the driest autumn so far this century, according to the State meteorological agency, AEMET.
Temperatures in January, February and March will be on average between 1ºC and 3ºC higher than normal across the country, following on from the autumn with the third-lowest rainfall since 1965.
Only in 1978 and 1981 were the months of October and November drier than in 2017, AEMET says.
Winter officially starts in the northern hemisphere today (Thursday) at 17.28 exactly mainland Spain time (16.28 in the Canary Islands) when the sun sets on the shortest day of the year.
AEMET says ‘no significant signs’ of rainfall in the three months of winter – which will end on March 21 – have been noted as yet, although January is most likely to see wet weather if there is to be any, particularly in the western third of the mainland.
March looks set to be the driest month of the winter, creating concerns about the ongoing drought possibly reaching crisis levels by summer.
This autumn brought just 59% of the average rainfall for the season – 84 litres per square metre, being 8.4 centimetres or about 3.5 inches.
It has also been one of the warmest on record, with both day and night temperatures at around 2.4ºC higher than average.