Spain experienced its hottest January this year since records began in 1961, with temperatures approaching thirty degrees in the east of the country, the spokesman for the weather agency announced on Tuesday (Aemet).
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“It's official. January was the hottest in the historic series in Spain,” said Rubén del Campo on the social network X.
The average temperature recorded in mainland Spain last month (8.4 degrees) was 2.4 degrees above the usual average and 0.4 degrees above the last record in January 2016, Aemet said in a statement.
Spain experienced temperatures around 30°C at the end of January, a heatwave worthy of the start of summer and described by Aemet as an “anomaly”.
In the last week of January, the mercury temperature rose to 29.5 °C in the Valencia region (east), to 28.5 °C in the Murcia region (southeast) and to 27.8 °C near Malaga in southern Andalusia .
Almost 400 weather stations in the country, almost every second one, had observed temperatures of 20 ° C or more, a level “right until mid or late June”, so we say “summer,” Aemet then emphasized.
Even though January was “a rainy month overall, the distribution of rain was very uneven: where we needed the most precipitation, it rained the least,” said Rubén del Field.
Barcelona and its outskirts were also placed under a drought “state of emergency” last week, with new water consumption limits set for nearly six million residents and strict restrictions particularly on industry and agriculture.
Levels in reservoirs in this northeastern region of the country, which store rainwater for use in drier months, have fallen below 16%.
Periods without rain are not uncommon in this Mediterranean region, but the current rainfall deficit is unprecedented since records began in 1916.
Spain, accustomed to high temperatures, is facing increasingly numerous and frequent heat episodes, sometimes occurring outside the summer months, worrying scientists.
The country had already recorded unusually high temperatures in December, with a high of 29.9°C in Malaga, which was a national record for the month of December.