THE year 2006 was extremely hot for Spain and the Balearics, even hotter than the record-breaking 2003.
There was an average rise in temperatures of 1.34 degrees Celsius above the average of the last reference period for the World Meteorological Organisation, understood to be between 1961 and 1990.
According to a report published by the National Meteorological Institute and the General Secretariat for the Prevention of Contamination and Climatic Change, 2006 was extremely hot.
This was in spite of the fact that the month of December was slightly colder than normal with relatively low temperatures during its last two weeks.
The year 2003, with an average rise of 1.32 degrees on the temperatures recorded in Spain and the Balearics from 1961 to 1990 had been, until now, the hottest year on record, at least since 1989, the year in which the calculations of global anomalies began.
In addition to this, for various observatories, 2006 was the hottest year on their records and, according to the report, it is very probable that it will also be so for the whole of Spain because the highest temperatures throughout the world have been recorded in the last 20 years.
The year 2006 was the hottest year on record for the observatories of the Retiro in Madrid (which has been measuring temperatures since 1990); Ciudad Real (since 1971); Albacete (since 1941); Soria (since 1946); Burgos (since 1944); Prat in Barcelona (since 1925); Tortosa (since 1904); Gerona (since 1973); San Javier in Murcia (since 1946); and Zaragoza (since 1941).
The hottest months during 2006 were, in descending order: May (especially in the centre and east of Spain); July (above all in the mid north and Mediterranean coast); October (mid east); November (north east corner); April (Mediterranean side); and June (mid north).
The coldest months were February (especially in the north west corner and the Ebro valley), January and December.
The increases in the average temperatures were: January (1.04 degrees less); February (1.34 degrees less); March (1.09 degrees more); April (2.19 degrees more); May (2.61 degrees more); June (2.04 degrees more); July (2.51 degrees more); August (0.15 degrees more); September (1.36 degrees more); October (2.48 degrees more); November (2.44 degrees more); and December (0.49 degrees less).
With regard to the Canary Islands, the behaviour of the temperatures in 2006 was very different to the rest of Spain and the Balearics.
They had an average rise in temperatures of just 0.3 degrees in comparison with the period 1961 to 1990.
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