Spain ended 2022 as its hottest year on record, the nation’s weather service, AEMET, has confirmed, backing up its statement of predictions made just before Christmas.
AEMET had said that preliminary data indicated that 2022 would finish with average daily temperatures above 15 C for the first time since records started. It said that the four hottest years on record for the country have all come since 2015.
Spain finally recorded an average temperature for the year of nearly 15.5 C, the highest since records began in 1916, AEMET said in a tweet. It was the first time that the average yearly temperature surpassed 15 C, the office added.
The agency said that ‘2022 has been the warmest year in Spain since 1916 based on a climate reconstruction’, stating that the method of measuring it was ‘robust’.
Spain saw temperatures surge repeatedly in successive heatwaves from May and into October, rising above 40 C across large parts of the country.
Spain also recorded one of its driest years in 2022, with only 2005 and 2017 having received less precipitation, AEMET said.
The country’s reservoirs were at 43% capacity at the end of December, below a 10-year average of 53%, according to the environment ministry.
Barcelona and large areas of Catalonia have imposed water restrictions due to the lack of rain. The measures include banning the use of drinking water to wash the exterior of houses or cars or to fill swimming pools, and reducing the amount of water used for irrigation.
The scorching temperatures this summer caused the deaths of 4,744 people in Spain, according to an estimate from a public health institute based on the number of excess deaths recorded during the period.
Europe overall has suffered an exceptionally dry and hot year that has favoured explosive wild fires, damaged crop yields and led to water restrictions. European authorities and experts link the extreme weather to climate change.
Podemos afirmar que 2022 ha sido el año más cálido en España desde 1916 basándonos en una reconstrucción climática hecha por nuestro colega Andrés Chazarra. El método es robusto y, como vemos en este gráfico, la reconstrucción coincide bastante bien con otras cuatro diferentes. https://t.co/enwlfApkeq pic.twitter.com/tV3MkrLseV— AEMET (@AEMET_Esp) January 3, 2023