WEATHER

Spain readies for another long, hot summer

After a chilly, wet spring, low rainfall predicted until fall, says meteorological agency

Finding relief from the heat in San Sebastián.
Finding relief from the heat in San Sebastián.Javier Etxezarreta (EFE)
Madrid -

Continuing a trend in recent years in Spain of rising temperatures, the summer of 2016 will be hotter than normal and with lower rainfall than usual, according to long-term forecasts by the country’s State Meteorological Agency (Aemet).

“It will be a long, hot summer,” said Aemet spokeswoman Ana Casals, adding that it was “too soon” to predict whether this year will match the sustained heatwave that hit Spain in 2015.

Following a dry winter, this year’s spring brought abundant rain: average precipitation throughout Spain was 34% higher than the usual between 1981 and 2010

Several Spanish cities have already seen temperatures close to 40 degrees centigrade this month.

The predicted summer high comes after what Aemet calls a “largely cold” spring, with average temperatures of 13.1 degrees centigrade, 0.5 degrees lower than usual. Casals said this spring was the “23rdcoldest spring since 1965, and the third-coldest this century, after 2004 and 2013.”

Following a dry winter, this year’s spring brought abundant rain: average precipitation throughout Spain was 232 mm, 34% higher than the usual between 1981 and 2010. April saw 43% higher than usual rainfall for the month.

Roser Botey, Aemet’s head of climatology, said that the heavy rains had helped mitigate a dry start to the year, with rainfall for December 2015 some 40% lower than usual.

English version by Nick Lyne.

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