THE highest temperatures ever recorded were registered in twelve towns, including Soller and Ibiza, during the heat wave that has hit most of Spain during June, and another ten locations exceeded the highest minimum temperatures ever recorded in history. The National Meteorological Institute (INM) has released information showing the highest figures - temperatures in Castellón reached 37.4 degrees on the 15th day of the month (the previous maximum had been 36.6 in 1997); Tortosa registered 39.6 degrees on 16th June (38 degrees in 2000 had been the previous maximum); Fuenterrabía with 39.8 on 21st June (38.8 in 1968); Ibiza with 36.6 on 16th June (33.4 in 2000); and Sóller with 40 on day 23 (39.2 in 1986). Similar historical “highest ever” temperatures were recorded in Granollers (36 degrees on 15th of the month with the previous maximum being 35.8 in 2001); the airport in Gerona registered 39.7 degrees on day 23, the previous high being 35.4 in 1981. In Igueldo 38 degrees were measured on 21st June against the last record of 37.7 in 1950 and Villafría in the region of Burgos showed 36.9 against a previous figure of 36.6. In Majorca, Felanitx experienced 35.3 degrees on the 16th; Sa Pobla-Sa Canova 39.5 degrees and Porreres 36.2 degrees.
With regard to records of the highest minimum temperatures recorded, those that are most noticeable are 25.5 degrees in Valencia on day 24 (the previous highest minimum was 24.4 recorded in 1974); Barcelona airport showed a new minimum level with 23.7 degrees on day 16 (22.5 in 1925 was the previous record minimum); Zaragoza airport registered 23 degrees on day 24 (22.2 being the previous highest minimum recorded in 1960); Asturias airport had 19.4 degrees on 21st June (19 being the highest minimum in 1998). According to the National Meteorological Institute, historic record minimum temperatures were recorded at the Almería airport (25.2 degrees against 25.2 in 2001); Manresa (22.1 against 19.7 in 1998); Sabadell (24.2 compared to 23 in 1996); Granollers (24.7 with the previous highest minimum being 21.4 in 1952); Cantabria aiport (19.9 against 19.8 in 1954); and Oviedo (19.8 compared to 18.6 in 2000). Scarce rainfall and high temperatures during May and June have left the earth “totally dry” in the whole of the Southern part of Spain, maintaining only limited moisture in the terrains of Cantabria bordering the Pyrenees, and in the central area of the Iberian mountain range. In their Spring report, the Institute indicated that “in clear contrast with the two previous seasons, this season's combined rainfall levels register somewhat below normal levels, especially in the north and centre of the peninsula. In April, combined rainfall figures across Spain maintained normal levels but in unbalanced proportions so that “dry to very dry” conditions were experienced along the north peninsular border areas as they were in central regions, and the south, north and eastern sections of the Andalucian plateau. Other regions were described as normal or damp. Combined rainfall figures for May reveal it to have been quite a dry month, especially in nearly all the Western half of Spain where accumulated rainfall hardly measured up to between 25 per cent and 50 per cent of average values. It was damp, however, on the eastern side of the peninsula, particularly in the northern half of Valencia which was subject to strong seasonal rainfall. During the first three weeks of June, the only rains of any significance were reported in the Iberian mountain range and in the Western Pyrenees whilst no rain at all was recorded in the whole of the south-west of the country. Looking at total accumulated Spring rainfall figures, the Meteorological Institute confirmed that above normal levels had been recorded in an area that includes Valencia, the southern part of Catalonia and most of the region of Aragon. The southern and eastern sections of Andalucia as well as more limited areas of Extemadura and Castilla y León had also shown above average rainfall levels. All other areas however, had shown below average figures for total accumulated rainfall, between 50 per cent and 75 per cent of these values had been recorded in Cantabria, in the northern region of Catalonia, in the east of Extremadura, Castilla-La Mancha and the southern half of Madrid.