The spring, which started this Wednesday evening, will be hotter and less rainy than normal across Spain, following the second driest winter of the 21st century and the fifth since 1965.
In a press conference organized to present the seasonal forecast, the water balance and an analysis of last winter, Delia Gutiérrez, spokesperson of the State Meteorological Agency (AEMET), announced that this spring will not bring changes compared to the winter.
With regard to the winter that has just ended, Gutiérrez stressed that it has been very dry. "It hasn't rained even half of what is usually recorded." Only 98 liters per square meter have fallen; 51 percent below the average.
Furthermore, according to Rubén del Campo, also a spokesperson for the Aemet, this dry weather has had an impact on the snow reserves, which by the end of the winter season had been halved compared to the last 5 years.
Regarding temperatures, the average of the maximum values (14.4 degrees) this quarter has been the highest since 1965, while the minimums have stood almost 0.5 degrees below normal. This has led to a season with "the greatest thermal amplitude" (difference between night and daytime values) since there are data available, said Rubén del Campo.
During the winter, the cold spells have been "scarce and of little intensity." Worth noting are those of January 4 to 8, which was due to generalized low minimum temperatures, and the "brief but intense one" of January 10 to 12, during which the lowest temperatures of all winter were recorded.
Another aspect that has characterized this winter has been the absence of storms and the high number of sunny days, which has resulted in 32 percent more hours of sunshine than normal across the country.
Regarding the current hydrological year (from October 1, 2018 to March 12, 2019), rainfall has remained 14 percent below the average and all basins have recorded lower values than usual, except for the Eastern Pyrenees (34 percent above the average), the north and northwest basins (3 percent more) and the Ebro (1 percent higher).
The current calendar year (January, February and up until March 14) is also considered dry so far; 38% above average.