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Lightning over Malaga city, early this morning. José Luis Escudero
Storm Irene: Aemet activates a yellow risk weather warning for strong gusts of wind in Malaga province
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Storm Irene: Aemet activates a yellow risk weather warning for strong gusts of wind in Malaga province

Unfortunately for the reservoirs, today's forecast rain was short-lived in the end and has done little to top up the water reserves

Wednesday, 17 January 2024, 12:50

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Storm Irene is turning the map of Andalucía yellow today (17 January) , with the wind as the main feature. All eight provinces of the region have activated yellow risk warnings for strong gusts that could reach 70 kilometres per hour. In the case of Malaga province, the warning will remain in force between 12 noon and 6pm and will only apply to Ronda and the surrounding areas.

Unfortunately for the reservoirs, today's forecast rain was short-lived in the end. In Malaga, the rain showered the city in the early hours of the morning (accompanied by a thunderstorm) but it did not last long. As of 6pm state weather agency Aemet no longer forecasts showers.

As the rain passed through the province (from west to east), the highest accumulations have been recorded, as usual, in the Serranía de Ronda and Estepona, with 19mm in the area of Los Reales, 14mm in Alpandeire, and 9mm in Antequera and Fuente de Piedra, measured in 24 hours by the Hidrosur Network of the Junta de Andalucía and Aemet. In the area around the Malaga city it left 8mm in El Cónsul (Aemet headquarters) and in Fuengirola; 7mm at the airport (which is the rain gauge that is taken as a reference for statistical purposes); 5mm in the port of Malaga and Rincón de la Victoria.

The bad news is that the reservoir reserves have not yet shown a substantial improvement, neither for this nor the previous episodes in January; although weather models predict that Friday's discharges will leave more rain in the Axarquía area, which is where it is most needed.

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The good news is that the instability, although it will be put on hold, will not disappear. Aemet forecasts rainfall in Malaga until Friday, although with varying intensity. On Thursday, the state Met Office puts the probability between 5% and 40%, and it rises again to 90% on Friday.

In addition to storm Irene squall, the Aemet delegate in the region, Juan de Dios del Pino, said that, during the day from Thursday to Friday, «a band of cloud of subtropical origin will bring with it a small storm that will leave rain in eastern Andalucía», although "some showers will also fall in the rest of the provinces of the region on those days", he added. Looking ahead to the weekend, the weather instability will tend to ease. On Saturday, Aemet has set the probability of showers in Malaga city at 60 per cent, while on Sunday it will drop to 30%.

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