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Summer 2024 set to be hotter than normal

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The Spanish meteorological association, AEMET, has reported that according to the Copernicus Climate Change Service, there is a very high probability (between 70 and 100%) that summer 2024 will be warmer than normal in practically all of Spain.

Whereas the forecast might seem like good news for holidaymakers, this continually worsening situation will add extra stress and concern on the country’s agriculture.

Throughout 2023, much of Spain suffered drought conditions, a situation which continued through the winter, and resulted in water having to be transported to some areas by ship. It also meant cutoffs in many areas.

According to the latest weekly Hydrological Bulletin, the Spanish hydraulic reserve stands at 66.3% of its total capacity (56,039 hm³), compared to 48.9% the previous year and 65.1% of the average for the last decade.

The reservoirs store 37,149 hm³ of water, increasing in the last week by 196 hm³ (0.3% of their current total capacity). The average level of reserves on the Atlantic slope is 68.3%, where the situation in the Guadalete-Barbate basin stands out, with 30.6%. In the basins of the Mediterranean slope, this level is 59.9%, where the internal basins of Catalonia are at 23.8% and that of Segura at 24.3%.

In the most recent rainfall report of this week, the national average value of accumulated rainfall from the beginning of the hydrological year (October 1, 2023) until May 7 is estimated at 512 l/m², 7% more than the normal value corresponding to said period (479 l /m²).

The accumulated quantities exceed the average levels in the western and interior half of the Peninsula, the eastern part of the Basque Country, Navarra, the western half of the Pyrenees and northern Aragon, with the exceptions of Asturias, Cantabria, the northern half of the province of Burgos. and the eastern and southern half of Andalusia.

On the other hand, rainfall is below its normal values ​​in both archipelagos and in the eastern third of the peninsula and is especially low in the east, between Almería and the Ebro delta. In part of Murcia and Almería along with the coast of The Valencian Community has recorded less than a quarter of the precipitation compared to its average value for the period 1991-2020.

The situation also means a higher risk than normal of forest fires, another situation that has been worsening over recent years, and this year, once again, the risk period has been extended.

This high probability of the hotter than normal summer extends to the rest of southern Europe and northern Africa.

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