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Spain's state weather agency warns this summer will be 'one of the hottest in recent decades'

Spain's state weather agency warns this summer will be 'one of the hottest in recent decades'

Climate ·

Aemet said the odds point to more rainfall, but noted "the drought will continue"

José A. González


Wednesday, 7 June 2023, 18:16

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Last summer Spain experienced 41 days of heat waves or, in other words, half of the summer. "It was extraordinary," said Rubén del Campo, spokesperson for the state weather agency, Aemet. "This summer we will have troughs or pockets of cold air that will give us some respite," he added. But, despite this, the forecast points to a hotter summer than usual.

The meteorological summer began on 1 June and, according to the weather models, it will be rainier than usual. "It could be the rainfall we are experiencing these days or it could be storms later on," Del Campo said. This rain will mean that temperatures will not be as stifling as those experienced during the past year when heat waves were prevalent.

There is a more than 50 per cent possibility that this summer will be one of the five hottest of the period 1993-2016. "We can say that it will be among the hottest in recent decades," Rubén del Campo said.

In recent years, weather reports have become accustomed to adding the adjective "historic" or "warmest". "The last three of the four seasons have been the warmest, we are not getting used to that and it is not normal," added the Aemet spokesman.

This spring is the warmest and second driest on record, after the 1997 season. "May has saved the situation a little," Del Campo said. The meteorological spring of 2023 ended with an average temperature of 14.2ºC, a +1.8ºC anomaly.

Drought situation

The rainfall and storms that happened in the last days of May "have improved soil moisture, but the meteorological drought situation is still in force," the Aemet spokesperson warned.

This type of drought is caused by a continuous lack of rainfall and usually affects large areas. "The indices are negative in all Spanish provinces," Del Campo said. Particularly worrying are the figures for prolonged drought, indicators of 36 months, especially in the southern third and northeast of the peninsula. "Once a decade we have a long-lasting drought and this summer is not going to improve it," Del Campo added.

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