2019 will be Malaga’s driest year since records began.
Only 181.2 litres of rain per square metre has fallen this year, 344 litres per square metre less than average.
Unless the dry spell is broken, 2019 will smash records for the year with the least rainfall in Malaga’s history. Until now, the driest year ever was in 1985 when 267 litres of rain per square metre fell in the regional capital.
The only year that has come close recently in terms of such little rainfall is 2005, when 296 litres fell.
“It could be the least rainy year in Malaga ever,” said Jose Maria Sanchez-Lauhle from the city’s regional authorities.
Rainfall throughout the year has so far been below average. In October, there was only a single day of rainfall, amounting to about five litres.
The tenth month of the year was also one of the warmest Octobers in the past century with temperatures 1.3 degrees higher than average.
Most of this year’s rain was concentrated in September, with 60 litres falling in just one day, causing a red weather warning and flooding in towns such as Alhaurin El Grande and Villanueva del Trabuco.
Sanchez-Lauhle said that while droughts were common in Malaga due to the mediterranean climate, climate change could be making them more severe.
“The fact temperatures are getting higher every time and the air is retaining more humidity, increases the possibility that these phenomena are more violent,” he said.
A shortage of rain throughout the Malaga region has caused reservoirs to be lower than average.
Reservoirs in the region are at 54% of their capacity.