Monday, 5 February 2024, 14:40
The rains are coming back, and with a bit of luck, they will leave a good sprinkling in Malaga province. The forecast of the State Meteorological Agency (Aemet) considers rainfall to be certain on Friday, 9 February, and to a lesser extent, on Saturday and Sunday.
With reference to yesterday's update of the European weather forecast model, the downpours will begin in the very early hours of Friday morning and will end at midday on Saturday. However, we will have to wait at least until Wednesday to see a more accurate forecast, said José Luis Escudero, Malaga weather expert and author of the SUR blog Tormentas y Rayos (Storms and Lightning).
"The key thing is that the two main weather forecast models (European and American) on this occasion, unlike the couple of times, have similar predictions and they both concur". And what these weather systems agree on is that it will start raining in Malaga province in the western areas (as usual), in the early hours of Friday morning.
It is a "very wet and active" front, which comes with a bank of humidity, pushed by so-called "rainy" winds. Therefore, significant accumulations are forecast, especially in the Serranía de Ronda and the western strip of the Costa del Sol, where up to 80mm could be deposited. In the upper Axarquia area around 40mm could be collected and in Malaga city approximately 30mm.
"This Friday could leave a good downpour, although it will be confirmed on Wednesday with more certainty," said Escudero. From Saturday afternoon onwards, showers may be seen in Antequera, although it is still possible that this situation will also extend to Sunday.
If this scenario is confirmed, the reservoir that will benefit most in Malaga province is also one of those most in need of water: La Concepción. The reservoir that supplies a large part of the Costa del Sol is at a very low level, at 22.7 per cent of its capacity with barely 13 cubic hectometres.
The good thing is that the small reservoir, which has a capacity of only 57.5 cubic hectometres, can be filled as easily as it is emptied, thanks to the inflows from the Rio Verde and from the Guadaiza, Guadalmina and Guadalmansa.
The good news will continue in the second half of February and into early March, when the European model anticipates possible "positive anomalies" of rainfall in Andalucía, and this time it includes Malaga (on other occasions, it has covered mainly Huelva and Cadiz).
As far as temperatures are concerned, today Tuesday and Wednesday, an episode of warm 'terral' wind is forecast, where the westerly wind usually arrives in Malaga province - in the city, Vélez-Málaga, Estepona, etc). Escudero explained that, given that the air mass is temperate, the westerly wind could cause the thermometer to rise to 22-23C, well above average for February. Even in Antequera and Ronda it will rise to 16 to 18 degrees, which are high for this time of year and "similar to spring".
On Thursday the 'terral' will be gone but temperatures will still be above average, and between Friday and Saturday a drop is expected, with maximums of 17C, due to the arrival of the colder air mass.
In terms of recent records, January 2024 was once again an extremely warm month, two degrees centigrade warmer than average. In fact, it is no longer very different from what has become the norm: in 2022 and 2023 it was one degree above average.
The historical average temperature of the first month of the year is 12.1C, while during the thirty years (1994/2024) that serve as a reference, the average has been exceeded 21 times. Of these, nine years have been consecutive: from 2016 to 2024. In January 2024, the average temperature was 14.1 degrees.
The record for January still stands at 1955, when the average temperature was 14.8, so far the highest average since records have been kept. It was followed by 1966, with 14.7. Although, as José Luis Escudero warned, "at that time the average was not exceeded so many years in a row, but rather it was a one-off event; now the climate change is clearly noticeable because it is not normal to have so many consecutive years with higher than normal average temperatures".
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