Last year was a hot one and this year could be just as hot. | P. Bota


In 2015, Spain experienced a year that was as warm as 2011, these being the joint warmest since current records started in 1989. The average temperature was 16 degrees, making this 0.94 degrees above the mean value.

The meteorological agency Aemet’s conclusions are that it was warm in the northwest of the country and very or extremely warm elsewhere, with values one degree higher than normal in several regions. The heatwave from 27 June to 22 July was the hottest period of the year, though other months were also hot. On 6 and 7 July, the highest temperatures were reached at Cordona with 45.2C and Zaragoza airport with 44.9C. In the case of the latter, this was the highest temperature ever recorded at its weather centre. In Majorca, the highest was 40.3C in Soller on 14 July.

There had, earlier in the year, been abnormally high temperatures in May, such as in the Canaries and Valencia. On 13 May, the temperature at both Lanzarote and Valencia airports was 42.6C, six degrees higher than maximums that had previously been recorded for May.

The first fifteen years of the century have all been warm, with the warmest occurring in the past five years: 2011, 2014 and 2015. Aemet says that one has to go back to 1993 to find a year when the weather had a “cold” character and to 1996 for a “normal” year. Since 1997, therefore, all years have been warm, very warm or extremely warm.

During 2015 there were only three cold months. January was 0.3 degrees below normal, while February (at 1.1C lower than the norm) and September (0.8 degrees) showed greater anomalies. April, June and November were classified as being very warm, with temperatures 1.7C above normal in April and 1.5C higher in the other two months.

But May and July were the months that were exceptional, the former having been 2.4 degrees warmer and July 2.5 degrees. As to the summer months alone, 2015 was the warmest on record with the exception of 2003.

Rainfall across Spain has been below the average, making it “very dry” because of 23% less rain than normal. The most significant periods for this lack of rainfall were the second half of spring and in November and December, especially the latter.
And December has been classified as having been extremely warm, with temperatures two degrees above the norm.

The only parts of Spain where rainfall was greater than usual were the northeast, small areas of southeast Andalusia, Castile-La Mancha and parts of the Canaries and the Balearics (Ibiza more than Majorca). In some areas the rainfall was 75% lower than the amount normal for the rest of Spain, and these included other parts of the Canaries.