Autumn is not going to fix the aftermath of the hottest and driest summer on record in Spain. Temperatures between October and December will be above expectations and rainfall will be below average, according to the probability analysis of the State Meteorological Agency.
It’s not (just) the drought: how we got to the water faucet outages
Climate change has made meteorological summers last, on average, one month longer than 40 years ago, according to data from the Aemet. 2022 has followed this line by extending beyond the “natural limits of the season” the conditions of high temperatures and dryness typical of the summer period: the four months of May, June, July and August have been the hottest and least rainy of the season. historical series.
With these data, the average summer temperature was 24ºC, that is, 2.2ºC above the historical average. Most of the Iberian Peninsula has endured an “extremely hot” season. The heat waves have lasted 42 days, almost half the number of days in the quarter, leaving the previous record for days with a heat wave far behind: 29 days in 2015.
In addition, rainfall has been very scarce. It has rained 35% less than the historical average for this time of year. Most of the rainfall in August has fallen as a storm, “adverse phenomena such as the large hailstorm recorded in Catalonia or the hot blowout that occurred in the Valencian Community,” explains the Agency.
Third Vice President Teresa Ribera said during the presentation of these forecasts that “climate change is already putting pressure on us with immediate and high-impact consequences that require new measures to strengthen our resilience.”
The next quarter is headed for the same weather patterns. Already the beginning of September has been warmer than expected. The greatest probability indicates that temperatures will continue to be above what is statistically normal, especially in the Balearic Islands and the Mediterranean slope. As for water, the models show that the coming quarter – crucial for water reserves as it is one of the rainiest of the year – could be quite dry. The water reserves arrive at this moment very exhausted: they are at 34% of their capacity, 12 points less than the average of the last five years and 18 below the average of the decade that for this time of the year, is of a 52.2%.