Axarquía’s December Heatwave Raises Concerns

heatwave Spain 2023 December

Unprecedented warmth blankets southern Spain Image: Shutterstock/ BigDane

THE south of Spain experienced an unexpected meteorological shift as temperatures soared to unprecedented levels this week. Beginning on Monday, December 11, and persisting until Tuesday, this unanticipated rise in temperatures defied the usual winter chill across the Andalucía region.

Record-Breaking Heatwave in Southern Spain

The State Meteorological Agency (Aemet) forecasted exceptional warmth, with some areas reaching highs of 27 degrees Celsius, unusual for this time of year. Granada province recorded a maximum of 24 degrees and a minimum of 14 degrees on Monday. The Costa del Sol in Málaga province witnessed the most extreme temperatures, with Tuesday’s forecast reaching a remarkable 27 degrees and a minimum of 16 degrees. Malaga city hit a maximum of 25 degrees on Monday, soaring to 27 degrees on Tuesday before returning to a more seasonable 20 degrees by Wednesday. In areas like Rincón de la Victoria and Vélez-Málaga, temperatures surged to 28 degrees on Tuesday, while Marbella and Fuengirola on the western Costa del Sol peaked at 26 degrees.

Challenges Posed by Unseasonably High Temperatures

While this unexpected warm spell offers a reprieve from the typical December chill, it may exacerbate existing drought conditions in the region. Higher temperatures can accelerate evaporation rates, leading to increased water loss from reservoirs and drying out of soil. If prolonged, such temperature anomalies could further strain water resources, posing further challenges.

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Written by

Catherine McGeer

I am an Irish writer who has been living in Spain for the past twenty years. My writing centers around the Costa Cálida. As a mother I also write about family life on the coast of Spain and every now and then I try to break down the world of Spanish politics!