Some tourists caught out in the rain today at Muelle Uno in Malaga city. Salvador Salas
Heavy downpours of rain, hail and lightning catch out parts of Malaga and the Costa del Sol

Heavy downpours of rain, hail and lightning catch out parts of Malaga and the Costa del Sol

The short, sharp storm left up to 15mm of rain in just two hours and caused some traffic problems

Ignacio Lillo


Monday, 29 April 2024, 21:48


Spain's state weather agency, Aemet, announced in the morning that it could happen, and it did. A strong storm, the likes of which had not been seen for some time, left lightning, thunder, heavy rain and hail in parts of Malaga, especially in the centre and to the east and north of the city.

The rain gauge of the Hidrosur Network, which is located at the Atabal water treatment plant in Puerto de la Torre, recorded the highest rainfall of the day in the province, with 15mm in just two hours. In fact, in one hour, between 3pm and 4pm, some 11.3mm, an unusual amount just recently. In fact, the yellow alert threshold starts at 15mm one hour.

Other points with notable accumulations in Malaga city were the Paseo de La Farola, where the headquarters of Hidrosur are located (7mm) and the Limonero reservoir (5mm).

Traffic problems on the city's roads were not long in coming, as almost every time it rains, many motorbike and scooter users switch to cars. The worst problems were in the area around the Paseo de los Curas, Plaza Manuel Azaña, Juan XXIII, the Heredia quay and Valle Inclán. Also contributing to the problems was the closure of Paseo del Parque and Alameda Principal for the Unicaja basketball team's victory celebrations.

A second point of interest was at the Aljaima weir (small reservoir) in Cártama, where 12mm of rain was collected. This area is important because the resource supplies the city at times when there are downpours, thus avoiding drawing water from the reservoirs of the Guadalhorce system.

Finally, the storms also left significant quantities in the Axarquía, specifically in the Benamargosa river (almost 8mm), whose runoff feeds the reservoir of La Viñuela.

Showers are forecast to subside by this evening and Tuesday will be a transitional day, with only a few light showers in mountain areas. But on Wednesday it will rain again in most of Malaga province, especially in the first half of the day (from the early hours of the morning until 12 noon). It is less likely in coastal resorts, except in the far west (Estepona). "Some moderate showers may fall inland, but little is expected," said the director of Aemet in Malaga, Jesús Riesco.

"Spring in its purest form"

"It's spring in its purest form", said José Luis Escudero, a local weather expert in Malaga and head of the SUR blog 'Tormentas y Rayos' (Storms and Lightning, who is hopeful about what Wednesday's front may bring, although he acknowledges that, for the moment, there is not much to see. "We have to wait to see what the Harmonie weather model says, which last weekend nailed it".

"Yesterday there was a lot of hail in the eastern part of Malaga and in Mijas pueblo; it rained more in the Axarquía and La Viñuela has risen a few tenths of a degree. And the good thing is that it is not hot, so there is less water consumption and evaporation". On this point, he recalled that April last year was the hottest month since records began.

Continuing with the temperatures, it is precisely the rise in the mercury that will mark the coming weekend, especially on Sunday, when the Aemet forecast announces almost summer-like temperatures of 29 degrees in Malaga city and points along the coast of Costa del Sol, with a minimum nighttime temperature of 19 degrees.

What will May be like?

What does the month of May look like as it begins now? The director of the Aemet weather centre indicates that the weather models do not currently show a clear sign regarding rainfall, and therefore it will not be widespread.

Nevertheless, there is hope that there could be a surprise of some outstanding instability. What is clear is that it is going to be a significantly warmer month than normal, already starting this weekend.

For his part, Escudero said that in the second week of May some rain could fall, although he agrees that the main feature will be the heat. "May will start hot and yet there are three weeks to go before the meteorological summer begins."

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