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Tourists walking along the Paseo del Parque in Malaga. Migue Fernández
Summer arrives on the Costa del Sol with the coolest temperatures in recent years: Will they continue?
Weather

Summer arrives on the Costa del Sol with the coolest temperatures in recent years: Will they continue?

Spain's state weather agency has issued its seasonal forecast for July, August and September and this is what it is predicting

Ignacio Lillo

Malaga

Friday, 21 June 2024, 10:47

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At 10.51pm on Thursday 20 June the astronomical summer began. It comes three weeks after the start of the meteorological summer, which began on 1 June. So far, the start of the season has been met with relief by local residents and visitors to Malaga and the Costa del Sol. Overall, the heat is not yet as intense as in previous years... although it will get hotter soon.

So far this month has been milder than last year, although there have already been several tropical nights (with minimum temperatures of 20C or higher), as Jesús Riesco, director of the Aemet weather centre in Malaga, acknowledged. However, at Malaga Airport (the official weather station) the statistical level is clearly above the historical average.

So why does it feel cooler? Well, two factors come into play: first, last summer was the hottest on record, with nighttime lows consistently above normal and daytime highs on most days. "This June is warm, but not extremely warm," the meteorologist points out.

During the night of San Juan, in the early hours of Sunday to Monday, an overnight low of 19 to 22C is forecast on the coast

Added to this is the passage of an Atlantic low-pressure system that has been passing for several days, bringing strong winds and a significant drop in temperatures. There have even been some showers, such as the downpour that left up to 8mm in Cortes de la Frontera on Wednesday.

In any case, the current meteorological situation is expected to be "a mirage", with temperatures rising from today (Friday) into the weekend. The increase will be more noticeable inland, with Malaga city and the Costa del Sol less affected. Tropical nights will become common during the final week of June. In fact, minimum temperatures of over 20C are expected daily in July and August, occasionally exceeding 25C . "From now on, we will see maximum temperatures of 28-30C and minimums of 20-21C every day," Riesco added.

Indeed, the popular night of San Juan, which will be celebrated on the night of Sunday into Monday morning (23rd to 24th June), is expected to have a minimum nighttime temperature of 19 to 22C on the coast of Malaga with a light easterly wind. The sea water temperature will be between 19 and 21C, depending on the areas along the coast of Malaga.

Historical comparisons

José Luis Escudero, an expert in Malaga meteorology and head of the SUR blog Tormentas y Rayos (storms and lightning), agrees that June this year has been "cooler" than that of 2023, although statistically the variation overall will be small, just a few tenths of a degree. "But compared to 2022 it will be much cooler," he said. According to his records, the minimum temperatures this June are lower than last June, although it remains to be seen what will happen in the final week of the month.

The local expert recalled that June 2022 was the hottest June since historical records have been kept at the Aemet station at Malaga Airport. Two years ago, the records for the highest average maximums, minimums, and absolute averages were all broken.

In 2023, the average maximum temperature in June was 29.3C; the average minimum was 20.3C, and the absolute average was 24.8C. In 2022, the daytime highs reached 31.7C; the nighttime lows, 20.5C, and the overall average was 26.1C. These values, at least so far, are clearly higher than what is being experienced this year. "However, this doesn't mean much for July and August, when we can roast and set new temperature records. It's going to be very hot," Escudero warned.

Seasonal forecast

In fact, the seasonal forecast from Aemet for southern Spain (in this case, it does not distinguish by provinces) for the whole of July, August and September clearly shows that the season will be "much warmer than normal", in the words of the director of Aemet in Malaga. Not only that, but it will be "among the top 20% of the hottest on record." The change will start to be noticeable from next week.

The weather models also predict a drier period than usual. This is expected for July and August, but also affects September when the next hydrological year begins, and it would be concerning if the drought continues. However, Riesco offered some reassurance by highlighting that, while the temperature forecasts are usually accurate, the model is less reliable when it comes to precipitation.

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