La Concepción reservoir, in Marbella, at a very low level. Josele
Spain's Met Office forecasts rain this week in Malaga province, but will it be enough to alleviate the drought?
Drought crisis

Spain's Met Office forecasts rain this week in Malaga province, but will it be enough to alleviate the drought?

January is one of the three key months for rain to fall in order to avoid severe water restrictions in the summer

Ignacio Lillo


Monday, 8 January 2024, 16:03

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This week rain is expected in the province. But so much for the good news. The bad news is that, unless there is a last minute surprise (and anything can happen in weather forecasting), there will not be enough accumulated rainfall to alleviate the critical drought situation in which Malaga finds itself.

On Tuesday, a frontal system will cross the whole of Andalucía, with rainfall that will generally be light, and only locally moderate in some inland areas, especially in the Serranía de Ronda. That is the forecast offered by the local director of state weather agency Aemet, Jesús Riesco, who pointed out that today (8 January) there could be some showers in the evening in the north of the province. And tomorrow, Tuesday, it is expected to rain throughout the province, with the highest accumulated rainfall forecast for the Ronda region, and less in the rest of the province.

Although at a national level, a 'dana' storm front is going to deposit heavy rain in various area, Riesco has clarified that in Malaga it will have practically no affect and will mainly affect Levante areas.

There are no significant accumulations of snow either which, if they do occur, will happen tomorrow above the 2,000-metre level, on the peaks of the Sierra de las Nieves and La Maroma, but it will be «a token amount».

José Luis Escudero, expert in local Malaga meteorology and head of the SUR blog Tormentas y Rayos (Storms and Lightning , said that the rains on Tuesday will be similar to those of last Thursday, and could deposit around 7-8mm in the city, and around 10-15mm in inland areas. «And that's it, it's not going to be a big deal and we can't see any more on the horizon at the moment.... At least I hope that in the Sierra Tejeda and the higher elevations of the Sierra de las Nieves a little snow will fall and it will be white.

«But what is needed is persistent rain, which is not in sight, neither this week nor at the beginning of next week. Hopefully it will change in mid-January, but I am not very hopeful because the rise of the anticyclone is only leaving cold and no rain,» he admitted. In his opinion, the situation is very similar to that of 2005, when most of the province's reservoirs reached their minimum levels.

January forecast

In the medium term, during the month of January, the weather models continue to give no warning of significant variations, which means that the longed-for episode of rain that would leave abundant accumulations is not within sight. However, the extended forecast from the European Centre opens the door to the hope of some precipitation next week, although, once again, too meagre to alleviate the acute shortage.

As SUR reported on Sunday, this month is one of the three vital ones to avoid severe water restrictions in the summer, and the way it is going, it is not likely to bring a solution either. The two wettest months of the year, which are normally November and December (both with a historical average of 100mm), have already passed without a trace. October was also lost (57mm).

And, if this trend continues, this month is going much the same way. January has averaged 69mm of rainfall historically, and started with some rain last Thursday (17mm measured in the Malaga province town of Alfarnatejo).

After that, only February (average 60mm) and March (52mm) remain. To a lesser extent, some rain could also be collected in April (44mm), while May is not very likely judging by history and statistics (20mm). Time is running out and the weather front or 'dana' that could reverse the situation is not yet on the horizon.


The second meteorological highlight this week is the temperature. Although the general feeling is that it is very cold at the moment, in reality we have values similar to normal, or slightly below normal, according to the meteorologist. In general, the week will continue with the mercury showing maximums between 15 and 18C and with the rain on the horizon on Tuesday the minimums will rise (between 8 and 13 degrees).

«We have become used to temperatures well above normal for the time of the year. Until last Thursday and during the month of December it reached almost 30C,» said Riesco, who pointed out that last year was the warmest year since data has been available.

The coldest day this week is expected to be Thursday, although the thermometer will rise again towards the weekend, up to the 20C during the day that are usual on the coast for the time of the year.

And next week we will again see above-average values, which the Aemet state weather agency director said: «We have to get used to this, because it will become the norm».

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