Tuesday, 11 April 2023, 08:35
If it is worrying that the local ‘terral’ wind helped set a new historical temperature record for April in Malaga yesterday (Monday), it is no less so that the previous maximum temperature recorded happened only a year ago.
Spain’s Aemet weather agency confirmed that at 2.10pm, a maximum of 33.5C was recorded at Malaga Airport (the official reference point for statistical purposes in the city), which is the highest temperature recorded for the month of April since the data has been recorded in 1943. The previous peak was recorded on the 17th of the month in 2022, with 33.1 degrees.
The terral wind - a warm inland wind from the northwest which warms up on its journey to the coast - was the main feature of the weather on Easter Monday in Malaga city and in the Guadalhorce valley, while there were differences of up to 14 degrees between the areas and the nearby municipality of Marbella, where the phenomenon does not occur. It mainly affects Malaga city, Estepona, the Guadalhorce valley and Velez-Malaga.
"The terral has arrived and we have also beaten the highest recorded maximum temperature for April," said José Luis Escudero, an expert in local Malaga meteorology, writing on his SUR blog Tormentas y Rayos (storms and lightning). In fact, according to his calculations, this will be even higher, up to 33.6 degrees, once the measurement is reviewed by those responsible at Aemet.
“Curiously, only 27 kilometres away, Marbella had 20.5 degrees at the same time”, highlighted Escudero.
The third highest recorded maximum April temperature in Malaga happened in 2002, with 33 degrees. On 19 occasions since records have been kept, temperatures have exceeded 30 degrees in April, although very few have exceeded 33 (2023, 2022 and 2002). Most of the time, the high for the month has been between 30 and 31.
The hottest years since official statistics exist were: 1945, 1949, 1952, 1960, 1965, 1966, 1975, 1980, 1983, 1985, 1992, 1993, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2011, 2014, 2017 and 2022.
According to Escudero's forecast, today the terral wind will take a breather, but looks set to return on Wednesday, "although I don't think we will have temperatures as high as Monday." The strong gusts of wind from the west will also take centre stage.
Another bit of bad news is that in the short term there is no sign of rain in the province, which is facing summer with the alarms starting to sound because of the drought; waiting for what might happen in the second half of April and in May, which will be the last chance before the summer dry spell. To give some data for hope, in April in Malaga city it rains on average 43.6mm; and in May, 20.3mm.
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