This year’s Spring has been Spain’s hottest on record, as well as its second driest, the state meteorological agency, AEMET, has said.
Rubén Del Campo, the weather agency’s spokesman, said the latest data showed a continuation of the extremely high temperatures the country suffered in 2022, which was Spain’s hottest year since record-keeping started in 1961, and this year has already seen the hottest and driest April on record.
With an average temperature of 14.2 C, this year’s Spring in Spain surpassed the average of the reference period 1991-2020 by 1.8 C and by 0.3 C the previous warmest to date (that of 1997).
The Spring heat was accompanied by a scarcity of rain that will exacerbate Spain’s long-term drought, despite some rainfall over the last month. Spain’s Ecological Transition Ministry reported on Tuesday that the country’s reservoirs are at 47.4% of their capacity, consolidating a downward trend.
Del Campo noted knock-on effects for the Mediterranean country’s ecosystem. ‘Surface water temperatures recorded in 2022 were the highest since at least 1940,’ he told a press conference, warning that the phenomenon endangered marine life and its ability to reproduce.
The situation inland was also made much more precarious. ‘These high temperatures have repercussions on both human health and ecosystems in terms of increased likelihood of forest fires,’ he added.
Del Campo also issued predictions for the Summer ahead, which he said would likely be ‘extremely hot’, though with a probability of some rainstorms. The AEMET spokesman said it was not clear that the El Niño weather phenomenon would contribute to the expected high temperatures in Spain. El Niño is a cyclical warming of the world’s oceans and weather, which is forecast to return later this year.
The Spanish government announced 2.2 billion euros worth of drought response measures last month, including funding for urban water reuse and further aid for struggling farmers. ALSO READ: Spain announces exceptional drought measures worth over €2 billion.
Spain is Europe’s leading producer and exporter of fresh fruit and vegetables. The country requested emergency funds from the European Union in April given the dire prognosis for this year’s crops. ALSO READ: Spain requests emergency funds from EU as drought hits farmers.
La primavera 2023 fue la más cálida y la segunda más seca de la serie histórica en España, que arrancó en 1961. En este hilo te explicamos este asunto y muchas más cosas pic.twitter.com/CGQfAnBkmf— AEMET (@AEMET_Esp) June 7, 2023