THE province of Malaga is set to face its worst drought since records began in 1942 by the national weather agency AEMET.

The drought situation is ‘critical’ in the province due to the lack of rainfall in recent month, in fact, according to Jesus Riesco Martin, recently appointed director of AEMET in Malaga, the winter months of this hydrological year—which runs from October 1st one year and finishes on September 30th the following year—have recorded the worst rainfall figures for 80 years.

Between October 1 and January 31, it is normal for 326 litres of rainfall per square meter to be recorded in Malaga, this hydrological year has only seen 49.8 litres of rainfall so far.

The weather expert indicated that the lack of ‘Danas’ (a high altitude depression that can often lead to a Gota Fria, a meteorological phenomenon which may result in intense storms and devastating flooding) this winter has also influenced the low rainfall count.

In fact, in December, the State Meteorological Agency indicated that Malaga was experiencing the worst drought index in the last six months in Spain and that the shortage of rainfall was ‘serious.’

Typically the months with the most rain in Malaga are November, December, January and February. This year, however, there has been very little rain, only 15% of the average.

During the month of October, 57 litres per square metre are normal and this year only 0.7 litres of rainfall per square metre has been recorded. In November there is usually an average of 100 litres per square metre, this year has only seen 5.6. In December the average is 100 litres and 37.2 fell.

In January and February, 69 litres of rainfall per square metre is the norm, and only 6.3 has been recorded in January and nothing so far has been collected in February.

According to Martin, Malaga is facing a ‘dry period’ that started in 2019 and though the Mediterranean climate has a great variability in terms of rainfall, with dry and wet periods throughout the year, the months to come ‘are not the most abundant months for rainfall.’

The last dry cycle lasted from 2011 to 2015, however the current arid cycle has the least amount of precipitation recorded. According to the weather expert the problem is not in the length of the dry cycle, rather the intensity.

The current dry spell affects the whole province of Malaga, the province most affected nationally.


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