SPAIN has entered a period of long-term drought following another mild winter and low rainfall numbers.
State meteorological agency, Aemet, said on Friday that the latest drought started at the end of last year with little signs of anything changing.
It comes on the back of another mild winter which Aemet classified as ‘warm’.
Despìte some inevitable cold snaps mainly from mid-January onwards, figures show that it was the fifth successive winter to be categorised as ‘warm’ or very warm’- something that has not happened since modern records began.
Aemet spokesperson, Ruben del Campo, said: “Global warming cannot be doubted and Spain has put on 1.3 degrees since the 1960s”.
There’s little sign of any change as del Campo explained: “The first available predictions for summer 2023 point to the likely scenario of above normal temperatures, meaning the risk of fires could be higher.”
Spain has experienced severe droughts before, Del Campo said, in 2017, 2005 and at the end of the 1990s and ’80s.
“To put it in context, we’re in a drought but there have been worse droughts, which is not to say this will not be important.”
Last year was Spain’s sixth driest year and the hottest since 1961.
Rainfall was 16% below average and daily temperatures averaged above 15 degrees for the first time since records began.
Parts of Andalucia and Catalunya have introduced water restrictions due to low reservoir levels.
- Spain’s Andalucia commitment to supply drought-hit Axarquia with 31 hectometres of water this year
- Spain’s Catalonia region ramps up water restrictions due to ongoing severe drought
- Water companies and farmers in Spain welcome recent rainfall but need more this winter to fight recent drought