The summer of 2023 was unseasonably warm in Spain. The average temperature was 23.4 degrees, 1.3 degrees above normal in mainland Spain, 25.5 degrees in the Balearic Islands, which is 1.2 degrees above normal, and 23.4 degrees in the Canary Islands, an increase of 1.6 degrees. Sea surface temperatures were even higher, more than one degree above normal. This was the highest seawater temperature ever recorded in Spain.
The summer of 2023 was not only unusually warm, but also unusually humid. This was the third wettest summer of the 21st century, thanks to rainfall in June. This was announced on September 14 by the Interim Minister of Environmental Transition and Demographic Challenge Who filed the balance sheet last summer.
In recent years it has become increasingly warmer in Spain. Nine of the 10 warmest years in the country’s history have been recorded this century, and four of the five warmest years have been since 2015. The summer of 2023 was no exception.
In the area of the Spanish mainland (Iberian Peninsula) and the Balearic Islands (Mallorca, Minorca, Ibiza and Formentera) there were four heat waves that lasted for 24 days. This is the fourth time that heat waves have witnessed such a large number of days since 1975. The Canary Islands also experienced two heat waves this summer, between August 10 and 14 and August 20 and 24, when the temperature rose to more than 40 degrees.
The trend is clear: the number of days with heat waves is increasing, by about three days per decade. The Spanish Meteorological Service (AEMET) also warns that Spanish residents should prepare for more days with heatwaves and for more extreme situations in the future.
The summer of 2023 was not only unusually warm, but also unusually humid. This was the third wettest summer of the 21st century and the 16th wettest since 1961. Total rainfall was 87 litres/m², 24% more than normal. Three-quarters of this rain fell in June. On the other hand, July and August were very dry months. In the water year that ends in October, Spain records a rainfall deficit of 13%.
The fall of 2023 could bring more rain than usual. The probability of more rain is 40/50%, while the probability of less rain is 20/40%. The chance of a warm fall is 70%, and the chance of a very warm fall is 50/70%. According to an AEMET spokesperson, this increase in rainfall is mainly seen in the northwest of the Spanish mainland.
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