Saturday, September 25

What happens in Toledo? The city breaks all its records for heat, cold, snow and rain in less than a year

More than 800 incidents, among them dozens of cars impounded on various roads, people trapped in their homes, their garages, as well as in residences and on buses, which had to be evacuated by the Security Forces and Bodies. These consequences, along with the mobilization of more than 200 troops, are only a brief summary of the last meteorological chapter that the province of Toledo and especially its capital has experienced, but it joins a series of “milestones” since the beginning of the year, after the collapse of the city with the squall ‘Filomena’ last January and the last episode of extreme heat. In other words, so far this year, Toledo and a good part of the province have broken all their records for volume of snow, cold, heat and accumulated rain in 24 hours. Is it casual or causal? What happens at this geographical point?

The strong storms collapse the province of Toledo: floods, stuck cars and flooded and blocked roads

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To begin, we turn to the data. They are detailed by the climatologist and presenter of El Tiempo in CMM, Jonathan Gómez Cantero. During the storm ‘”Filomena”, which left the Castilian-Manchegan capital covered with snow and ice for almost two weeks, this city reached its lowest temperature recorded to date: -13.4 ° C. Not only that: the largest accumulation of snow also occurred – up to 50 centimeters. The city was impassable and collapsed after three consecutive days of storm.

The start of the school year after the Christmas holidays was delayed for several days, the entrances were closed and the cleaning lasted for weeks due to accumulated snow and a slow and difficult thaw due to the permanence of low temperatures. “Filomena” also coincided with the increase in restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the start of the vaccination campaign.

Months passed and summer came. The start of the campaign against fires began quietly, but as August progressed, the weather alerts began to warn of an extreme heat wave that also broke records in Toledo: 44.2 ° C.

And just two weeks later, with the last DANA and the beginning of September, the city has marked another meteorological milestone: 56 liters / m2 of rain have accumulated, an absolute record for a month of September, according to the State Meteorological Agency. (AEMET).

The consequences: floods, overflows and again the collapsed city. The good news is that in none of these cases were deceased people to mourn, but it is already a good part of the public that is wondering, on the street and on social networks, if these events mean something.

Gómez Cantero explains to that these are four meteorological milestones that show us that “climate change is widely affecting Castilla-La Mancha.” “The highest accumulated snow level since there are records, the lowest official temperature with the subsequent cold wave after ‘Filomena’, the highest temperature in the historical series of Toledo … It happens that by being in the interior of the peninsula, the phenomenon of ‘continentality’ occurs, that is, we do not have the sea nearby and therefore there is no water as a buffer against temperatures, neither the maximum nor the minimum, so it is amplified much more this type of phenomenon “.

The debate on social networks on the occasion of the last storms has led Toledo to be a “trending topic” on Twitter with thousands of comments from individuals stunned by this new episode. The reflection was also carried out by José Miguel Viñas, a meteorologist for TVE and RNE, who has pointed out that it is not just another episode at the end of the summer, but rather “something historic.” “All the same year and in the same geographical coordinates”:

In any case, political parties, citizen associations and agricultural organizations throughout the province are asking the City Council, the regional government and the central administration for explanations about the ravages of these inclement events. The city of Toledo has a special orography, in the valley of the Tagus, and its capacity to face such adverse meteorological phenomena is very limited by its numerous slopes and streams. Although in the past these events could be specific, their accumulation in a single year is already raising the alerts and requests about the future needs of the city to avoid its continuous collapse.

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