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A tourist protects herself from the sun under an umbrella in the centre of Malaga. Marilú Báez
Summer started on the Costa del Sol with cooler and wetter June than usual, but was still considered 'very warm' by Spain's Met Office
Weather

Summer started on the Costa del Sol with cooler and wetter June than usual, but was still considered 'very warm' by Spain's Met Office

Fewer people used air conditioning and fans in June, with electricity consumption falling by 15% compared to the same month in 2023

Ignacio Lillo

Malaga

Wednesday, 3 July 2024, 10:53

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Last month was one of the coolest starts to summer in the last few years in Malaga province, latest weather data shows.

The average 24.3C temperature recorded in June is 0.5 degrees less than the previous year; and 1.8 degrees less compared to 2022. Electricity consumption data also shows much less was used last month than the same month in 2023. According to Endesa figures, peak demand in June was 962 megawatts (on 24 June). This is 170 less than in the same month in 2023 (1,132 on 29 June). That is a 15% decrease.

In spite of the cooler than usual temperatures, pleasant for most people, June has once again been considered a ' very warm' month, according to Aemet

To give an example of the extent of this drop in electricity demand, a wind farm with a capacity of 150 megawatts could supply electricity to more than 100,000 households. For comparison, in the summer of 2023, peak demand reached 1,463 megawatts (19 July), while the all-time record stands at 1 August 2009, with 1,471 megawatts.

June still considered 'very warm'

However, despite a cooler average temperature in June, last month was still considered "very warm", according to Spain's state weather agency, Aemet. This is based on data recorded between 1991 and 2020, where the average recorded temperature was 23.5C. Last month's average is therefore 0.8 degrees above this average, according to the data.

Last year it was 1.3C above the average; and in 2022, which set the all-time record, the difference was 2.6 degrees. "One month is not statistically significant; we are having a very warm year, all the months are above normal and there is still July and August," said Jesús Riesco, director of the Aemet meteorological centre in Malaga.

Sporadic rainfall

Rainfall was one of the factors contributing to cooler temperatures in June. "It doesn't usually rain at all and this year it has rained, there has been an alternation between ridges and troughs," Riesco said.

The rain gauge at Malaga Airport collected a total of 9 mm, which is not significant, but more than double the average which is 4 mm. Inland, considerably more was collected: 16 mm at the Aljaima weir (small reservoir) on the Guadalhorce river; 14mm at Casarabonela, 13.6mm at Cortes de la Frontera and 10.5mm at Coín, according to the Junta de Andalucía's Hidrosur network records.

Another important change is that the early mornings have not been excessively warm, and only those in the second half of June have been considered tropical (above 20C), compared to last year when they started earlier and were more intense. "In July and August all the nights will be (at least) tropical, and in June and September, more than half of them," Riesco added.

Fewer days of high humidity

José Luis Escudero, an expert on Malaga's weather and head of the SUR blog Tormentas y Rayos (storms and lightning), has analysed why June recorded slightly lower temperatures than the average. "For the last couple of weeks, the topic of conversation among the people of Malaga has been that June has not been hot in Malaga city. I, in particular, have not felt so hot".

But he said the average temperature at Malaga Airport this month has been 0.7 degrees higher than normal. "Aemet, in its monthly climatological summary, will say that it has been a warm month," he said.

According to its records, the maximum temperature exceeded 30 degrees on 13 occasions, with the maximum on 15 June, with 36.1 degrees; and on another eight occasions it exceeded 28 degrees. For the rest of the month, the highs were around 25 and 26 degrees, except on 2 June (24.6). But the minimum temperatures stood out. On 18 occasions the temperature dropped below 20 degrees, the lowest being on 4 June, with 17.1. On the other days of the month, night-time lows were around 20, 21 and 22 degrees.

Escudero also pointed out there were hardly any humid days, apart from 14 June (31C) and 26 June (30 degrees): "On those two days, the prevailing wind was east-southeast, with a very high humidity index".

So what has happened to make people feel the heat less?

"My opinion is that we haven't had much humidity and this has meant that the tropical sensation has been less hot," Escudero said. "The sea temperature has also been very cold for most of the month, which is why the early mornings have been cooler," he added. And a third factor has been the wind: during most of the month, gusts exceeded 30 to 37 km/h.

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