Spain has entered a situation of meteorological drought after the second driest winter since 1961only preceded by that of 2011-2012, and in which rainfall has barely reached 45 percent of the normal value.
At a press conference to present the seasonal forecast for spring and the balance of the hydrological year 2021-2022 so far, Rubén Del Campo, spokesman for the Meteorology Agency (Aemet), has advanced that this winter has been “extremely dry”.Precipitation was “below average” in the two archipelagos and almost the entire Peninsulawith the exception of the Cantabrian coast and much of the Pyrenees, and values below 25% of normal have even been reached in the Balearic Islands, Catalonia, the eastern half of Aragon, the Valencian Community, the Region of Murcia and the eastern end of Andalusia.
If the precipitation data of the last twelve months (from March 1, 2021 to February 28, 2022) are analyzed, we can speak of “a situation of meteorological drought in the whole of Spain”as well as in most of the representative basins of Aemet (similar, but not the same, to the hydrographic basins), except in those of the Júcar and the Segura.
By months, December was normal, with a value of 62 liters per square meter, while January, with only 16 liters per square meter, (26% of the normal value) and February, with just 10.9 liters on average in the Peninsular Spain, were very dry.
However, the first fortnight of March has slightly mitigated the lack of precipitation, since the trend has changed “notably”.
In these first 15 days of the month, throughout Spain it has rained twice or triple than normal» for the month of March, which has contributed to reducing the rain deficit ten points in this fortnight, from 42 to 32 percent».
The third warmest winter of the century
Regarding temperatures, the average in mainland Spain was 7.9 degrees, that is, 1.5 degrees above normal, which makes it the fourth winter with the highest average temperature in the series and the third in the 21st century.
At this point, the spokesman clarified that “in the last six years there have been three of the four warmest winters since 1961.”
It was “extremely hot” in parts of the southeast and the Pyrenees, normal in the central depression of the Ebro and even cold in points of the Andalusian Mediterranean coast; in the Balearic Islands it was warm and in the Canary Islands very warm. It is remarkable that the central hours of the day were together the highest since 1961.
This scenario was the consequence of the “anticyclones over Spain during most of the season”, which caused it to become the third sunniest winter in the series, behind those of 2011-2012 and 2018-2019.
In addition, during the December-January-February quarter “there was no cold wave in Spain” and in the last days of December and the beginning of January an unusual warm episode was registered, in which numerous monthly maximum temperature records were broken.
Regarding spring, which will begin this Sunday at 4:33 p.m. peninsular time, It will be dry on the Atlantic slope, with greater robustness» in areas of the peninsular northwest, and warmer than normal throughout Spain.
As far as temperatures are concerned, a warmer environment than normal is expected throughout the country, with an average temperature that will be up to 0.5 degrees above normal throughout the territory, Del Campo pointed out: “It will be hotter than normal“.