Cala Deya | Wendy Wighton Urquhart


Spring officially begins on Friday and the State Meteorological Agency, Aemet is promising record high temperatures for Easter and the rest of the season in the Balearic Islands.

Aemet usually presents its quarterly report via press conference but because of the coronavirus crisis that’s not possible this time, but there’s plenty of good news for Spain.

At Easter, the top temperature will hover around 18-20 degrees, with overnight lows of between 7 and 11 and the average rainfall is usually 8 to 13 litres per square meter.

Data for April-June suggests that there will be less rain than usual in the northern areas of Spain, such as Galicia and Asturias, levels will be normal elsewhere for the time of year and it will be at least 0.5ºC hotter than usual.

In the Pyrenees and the south-east of the Peninsula temperatures are expected to be at least 1ºC higher than last year.

Spain has just had the hottest winter of the 21st century and the second warmest since records began. The average temperature was 14.6ºC, that's up by 0.2ºC from the last record in the winter of 2018-2019 and the thermal anomalies were greater in the mountainous regions and in elevated areas of the plateaus.

Records were broken all over the country with highs of 29.6ºC at Valencia Airport; 31.9ºC at Tenerife South Airport and an overnight temperature of 20.4ºC in Melilla, the first tropical night in that city in winter.

The season started with a very warm December and the average temperatures was 2 degrees higher than normal for the month. January was 0.5ºC higher than usual and it was the warmest February since records began in 1965, with the mercury up 3ºC on the monthly average, similar to 1990.

There were a few cold snaps, especially between January 12 and 14, which were the coldest days of the season in many areas. Temperatures plummeted again from January 19 to 21, when Storm Gloria battered Spain with gale force winds, snow, torrential rain, rough seas and super huge waves.

The lowest temperatures recorded in January were -10.8ºC on January 20 in the Port of Navacerrada; -10.3ºC on January 12 in Molina de Aragón; -8.6ºC on January 13 in Teruel and -6.7ºC in Salamanca-airport on January 13.

Between December 13-28 and January 28-February, temperatures were much higher than usual for that time of year.

In the Canary Islands, the warm February weather coincided with the arrival of Saharan dust and strong westerly winds. The highest highs for the quarter were 31.9ºC in Tenerife South on February 24; 30.4ºC at La Palma Airport on February 3; 29.4ºC at Lanzarote Airport on February 25 and 28.6ºC at Fuerteventura Airport on February 5.

The highest February temperatures in the Peninsula were 29.6ºC at Valencia-Airport 28.6ºC in Alicante; 28.2ºC in Murcia and 27.6ºC at San Javier airport. All of these temperatures were recorded on February 4.

4% Less Rain

According to Aemet, 192 litres per square meter of rain was collected, which is 4 percent less than the quarterly value for the period 1981-2010.

The winter season started with a wet December and January but ended with the driest February since 1965, but the distribution was variable, with high or very high humidity in Aragon, Catalonia, Murcia, western Castilla y León and the Balearics Islands.

The Provinces of Teruel, Zaragoza and the Ebro Delta were extremely humid and it was very dry in the Basque Country, the Canary Islands and Ceuta. Melilla was extremely dry over the winter period.

There were also episodes of intense rain between December 2-4, when an Isolated Depression in High Levels, left intense rainfall on the Mediterranean side of the Balearic and Canary Islands.

The northern fringe bore the brunt on December 12 with heavy rainfall from Galicia to the Lleida Pyrenees; December 15-17 because of Storm Daniel and from December 18 to 21, when Storm Elsa, followed hard on the heels of Storm Fabien, battering the Peninsula, the Balearic Islands, Galicia, the Pyrenees, the Central system, the Betic system and the Cádiz mountains with torrential rain.

From January 18-23 more than 150 litres per square metre of rain fell in the Balearic Islands during Storm Gloria and Valencia, Alicante, Gerona, Tarragona, and eastern Aragon were also badly hit.

The highest amount of rain in one day fell in Tortosa in Tarragona where 137 litres per square metre was recorded on January 21; followed by 109 litres per square meter in Vigo-Airport on December 12, 108 litres per square meter in Gerona on January 20 and 106 litres per square meter in Castellón-Almansora.

Majorca was the wettest island with an increase of 20%, Minorca had an extra 6% and Ibiza was very dry with a 17% drop in rainfall.

Aemet says the latest data shows that March will be very dry and very warm.