Valencia experiences rainiest day in May on record

The city of Valencia experienced on Tuesday May 3rd the rainiest day in May since records began, during what's already proving to be the wettest spring in history in the eastern city and region.

flooding in the region of Valencia
Valencia experienced the rainiest day in May on record. Photo: CESAR MANSO / AFP

A total of 145.4 l/m2 of rain fell in just 24 hours in Valencia city, the largest amount in the month of May since 1871.

The rains have already caused numerous problems for traffic, the city’s metro and tram systems due to the flooding.  

rainiest day in May in Valencia

Accumulated rainfall in 24 hours between 5am on May 3rd to 5am on May 4th. Source: AEMET

According to Spain’s State Meteorological Agency (AEMET), the rainstorm was accompanied by lightning and conditions are expected to continue throughout today, May 4th.

Aemet reported that by 10pm on Tuesday night, 181 l/m2 of rain had been collected at the Viveros observatory in Valencia, 122 l/m2 at Valencia airport, 121 l/m2 in Sagunto, 96 l/m2 in El Puig and 82 l/m2 in Castelló de la Plana.

Spain’s national weather agency reported prior to Tuesday’s downpour that this has been the rainiest spring in the Valencia region on record, “even if not a single more drop fell” .

Since March 3rd when the rainfall began, except for “brief pauses in April, it has almost not stopped raining” .

graph of rainfall in Valencia

The amount of spring precipitation in the Valencia region in 2022 is much higher than in previous years. Source: AEMET

Valencia city was one of the worst affected places

The capital of the Valencia region was the worst-hit area, with the deluge flooding homes and cutting off numerous roads.  

The tunnels of Hermanos Machado (Ronda Norte), Primado Reig/Peset Aleixandre and Clariano and the roads of Farinós and Vera, as well as in Ingeniero Fausto Elio were all closed to traffic due to the floods and some continue to be so on May 4th. 

The maritime neighbourhoods of Malvarrosa and Cabanyal were two of the worst affected with rainfall inundating the ground floor of numerous homes.

According to the Valencian Meteorological Association (Avamet), these coastal areas of ​​the city, experienced more than 200 litres of rain per square metre, in just a few hours. 

The Universitat Politècnica de València has also suspended all face-to-face lessons on the Vera campus this Wednesday, May 4th, because of the floods.  

Emergency services were called

Local Police sources said that since 8pm on May 3rd when the storm has become torrential, they received 94 emergency calls due to problems caused by the rains.  

The Provincial Firefighters Consortium also became involved when they rescued three people whose vehicle had been trapped by the water in Paterna. In total, they have also answered 50 emergency calls, mostly related to rescuing people and flooded roads.

The Emergency Coordination Center of the Generalitat has updated its warnings and has issued a new bulletin on meteorological risks, specifically pre-emergency due to orange-level rains on the south coast of Castellón and the north coast of Valencia.

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VIDEO: ‘Mini tsunami’ shocks beachgoers in southern Spain 

Holidaymakers in the southern Spanish province of Cádiz were surprised by a sudden wave which in a matter of seconds engulfed the entire beach, dragging and drenching everything in its path. 

VIDEO: 'Mini tsunami' shocks beachgoers in southern Spain 

Beachgoers at Valdelagrana beach in the city of Puerto de Santa María in Cádiz (Andalusia) got a scare on Saturday when a low-height wave engulfed the entire beach without prior warning. 

The phenomenon is referred to as a sneaker wave, a disproportionately large coastal wave which isn’t fully understood by scientists but which is believed to be a consequence of high tides during full moons. 

Within a matter of seconds, the wave either drenched or dragged sun loungers, dustbins, parts of the wooden walkway and people’s belongings as beachgoers rushed away from the beach. 

As can be seen in the videos, despite the wave’s wide expanse and power, the water was only ankle high. 

Nobody was injured as a result of the phenomenon which, although displaying similar traits to a tsunami, cannot officially be classified as such. 

“We reiterate, for the peace of mind of all our residents and visitors who are enjoying the summer holidays in our city, what happened this afternoon on Valdelagrana beach is only a high tide, with the full moon making it reach its highest level”, Puerto de Santa María authorities wrote in response to the bizarre event.