The very abundant rains this week, which have even left more precipitation in one day than in the entire month in many parts of Levante, will not be able to prevent the spring of 2023 from being the driest in Spain since there are records. , according to the State Meteorological Agency (Aemet).
The spokesman for the agency, Rubén del Campo, has highlighted in statements to the media collected by Europa Press that this storm that is especially affecting the southeast of the peninsula has accumulated, from 9 in the morning on Monday until 12:00 on Tuesday, 130 liters per square meter in Ontinyent (Valencia); 113 liters per square meter in Cabo de Palos and Cartagena (Murcia) and 108 liters per square meter in Albox (Almería).
In any case, despite the amounts collected throughout the country —some of torrential intensity— from March 1 to May 21, 48 liters per square meter have fallen in Spain, so this is the driest spring in all of the historical series, which began in 1961.
The spokesman underlines that it is still "far away" from reaching the spring of 1995, in which 86 liters per square meter fell and was, up to now, the driest. However, he does not rule out that the rainfall between now and the end of the month exceeds that amount.
Finally, until the definitive count of rains in the month of May is completed, Del Campo confirms that it will be a "very dry" spring, since the average for the normal season is 180 l/m² and at the moment "only" 48 l/m² have fallen.
"These rains are going to add something, it is clear," admits the spokesman who, however, warns that the rains of these days will not alleviate the drought. In some areas the rainfall deficit will be reduced, especially in the southeast of the peninsula and other areas of the Mediterranean slope, where the drought is not as long-lasting as the one that is being experienced on the Atlantic slope, for example in the Guadalquivir or in other areas such as the Guadiana.
However, for Spain as a whole, so far this hydrological year from October 1, 2022 to May 21, 2023, 360 liters per square meter have been collected, when the normal is 504 liters. Therefore, the accumulated lack of precipitation in this period is 28 percent below normal.
In an average complete hydrological year, from October 1 to September 30, the normal thing is to accumulate 640 liters per square meter, so if we wanted to reach that figure between now and September 30, about 280 liters per square meter would have to fall. However, the normal thing is that in the four months that remain after the end of May, --June, July, August and September--, about 135 liters per square meter are collected.
"It would have to rain more than double the normal amount in these four months or so, between summer, September and the remainder of May, to end the hydrological year at its normal value, something very unlikely, since to date, For as long as there are records, it has never happened, never has such an abundant amount of precipitation fallen between the last week of May, the summer months and September," he concludes.
In the current episode of rain, in the city of Cartagena itself, and during a single shower, at dawn on Tuesday, 61 liters per square meter have accumulated in just one hour, an amount that allows one to speak of "torrential rain", since that 60 liters have been exceeded in an hour or 10 liters per square meter in 10 minutes.
Not only in Cartagena, torrential rains have been recorded, which have also affected other towns in the southeast of the peninsula. Likewise, daily precipitation records have been broken: at the Almería airport, for example, 52.6 liters per square meter have been collected in 24 hours, which is the record for the month of May since records began in 1973. The previous record at that observatory was 41 l/m² reached in May 1993.
So far in the rainy season in Levante, the spokesman points out that in other towns in the region of Murcia, the Valencian Community and Almería, more than 80 liters per square meter have been collected at the beginning of the storm.
"There are very abundant rainfalls and they far exceed the normal value for the entire month of May," he stressed.
Looking ahead to the next few hours, Del Campo predicts that the heaviest rainfall will continue to fall throughout the day in the south of the Valencian Community, where the risk warning persists until 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, as more torrential rains may fall. of 60 liters per square meter in one hour or accumulate 150 liters per square meter in 12 hours.
The spokesman also warns about the "very strong" showers that are expected in Aragon, especially on the banks of the Ebro in Zaragoza, where there is also an orange warning.
Throughout Tuesday and also Wednesday, the Aemet indicates that heavy showers will persist in the Region of Murcia, Eastern Andalusia and especially in the Northeast, Catalonia, Aragon, Navarra, La Rioja, eastern Castilla y León, Castilla y La Mancha, Community of Madrid and the Balearic Islands.
In short, it states that in a large part of the eastern half of the peninsula and the Balearic Islands may register strong or locally very strong showers this Tuesday and Wednesday and in some cases they will be accompanied by storms and hail.
The rainfall will subside on Thursday, when it will only rain in the eastern third of the Peninsula and the Balearic Islands, while on Friday it could fall in large areas of the Peninsula.