This summer, which officially started at 6h24 on Wednesday, looks set to be a hot one across the whole of Spain with temperatures between 0.5 and 1 degree higher than the season average, especially in central and southern regions, after the hottest spring of the 21st century.
A spokesperson for the State Meteorological Agency (AEMET), Ana Casals, said in a press conference yesterday that the high temperatures experienced over the past month suggested that July, August and September would continue in a similar vein as was the case with the hot summers of 2003, 2015 and 2016.
Casals also mentioned that meteorological analysis was increasingly showing that “summer starts earlier” and that forecasts predict it to move forward by a whole day every ten years.
With regard to rainfall this summer, little or no change is expected across the pensinsula, although there might be slightly less in some areas.
Casals highlighted the fact that June started in normal temperatures, but that from 7th or 8th onwards temperatures started to rise much higher than normal in the south-eastern provinces, in Castilla y León and in the Ebro Valley. The intense heat continued until June 18th and temperatures remain very high for the time of year.
With regard to the recent spring temperatures, she emphasised that they had been “extremely hot”, with an average temperature of 15.ºC, the warmest spring for over a half a century.
March was unusually warm with an average temperature 0.9ºC above the norm, April was warmer still with average temperatures increasing by 1.9ºC, and May has been extremely warm with an average temperature 2.4ºC above the norm. The highest May temperatures were seen in Ourense with 37.6ºC, Bilbao with 36.4ºC and Granada with 37ºC.
With regard to rainfall, this spring has been relatively dry with an average of only 133 litres of rain per square metre across the country, 23% below the average rainfall for the period between 1981 and 2010. The only regions that saw reasonable amounts of rainfall were the south-eastern part of Andalusia, the areas between Huesca and Lérida, and the south-eastern part of the Valencian Community. The heaviest single day of rainfall was actually recorded in Ceuta, where 185 litres per square metre fell on April 28th, followed by Alicante with 112 litres per square metre on March 13th.