Thu, 11 Aug 2022

Heat and drought set to continue in Spain: AEMET

Xinhua
02 Aug 2022, 03:49 GMT+10

MADRID, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- High temperatures and low rainfall in Spain are likely to continue into the autumn, exacerbating wildfires and drought, according to a report published on Monday by the Spanish Meteorological Agency (AEMET).

Spain is experiencing one of its hottest summers on record, with major heatwaves coming earlier in the year than usual, in June, and continuing into July to claim over 2000 lives.

Over 200,000 hectares of land in Spain have been ravaged by wildfires, and with reservoirs currently at under 42 percent capacity (20 percent lower than the average for the last 10 years), some regions are starting to introduce restrictions on water use. There are also fears that crops such as soft fruits will be seriously affected.

AEMET's report makes for worrying reading, with the agency predicting a 60 percent chance that August, September and October will be hotter than the average for the period 1981-2020.

Meanwhile, AEMET said there is a 30 percent chance that temperatures will be in line with the 40-year-average, and only a 10 percent possibility that the weather will be cooler than average.

"Temperatures will be higher than normal," said AEMET spokesperson Ruben del Campo at a press conference. In the first half of August and possibly also in the second, temperatures in the north and center of Spain will be three to six degrees centigrade above average, he added.

Del Campo also warned that the Mediterranean Sea is already five degrees centigrade warmer than average.

Concerning rainfall, AEMET reports there "is a higher probability of precipitation being less than normal, especially in the east of Spain and the Canary Islands."

The agency has predicted a 45 percent chance of drier than average weather for the west and the center of the country, with a 35 percent chance that rainfall will be in line with the average. There is only a 20 percent chance of more rain than usual, according to AEMET.

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