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From freezing to frazzling in just days: Spain to get 30C in March

The Local Spain
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From freezing to frazzling in just days: Spain to get 30C in March
Spain to experience summer temperatures in March. Photo: JOSE JORDAN / AFP

It will take just a week for Spain to go from being a winter wonderland to large parts of the country experiencing "abnormal" March temperatures of around 30 degrees centigrade, meteorologists have warned.

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The hot weather seems to be arriving earlier and earlier each year in Spain, but this year seems like it’s gone one step further, with summer-like temperatures arriving in March.

It was only last week that the mercury plummeted to around 0 degrees centigrade across large areas of Spain, with coastal places such as Barcelona and Mallorca even getting snow.

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Now, weather agencies are predicting that the mercury could rise to 30C for the first time this year, particularly in the middle and southeast of the country, as well as in the Canary Islands.

Rubén del Campo, spokesperson for Spain's State Meteorological Agency (AEMET) has indicated that temperatures will rise above 30C by this weekend.

But much of Spain will likely experience a rise in temperatures from this Wednesday March 8th onwards, with weather seeming more like that of late spring or early summer.

Meteorologists are predicting it could reach 28C in Murcia and 24C in Zaragoza by the middle of the week, while northern regions like Cantabria will see the mercury rise up to 20C.

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Weather agency eltiempo.es say that it will be from Friday March 10th when the greatest thermal rise will be recorded, with minimums below 0C restricted almost exclusively to mountain areas.

By this weekend, the minimum nighttime temperatures will be between 5C and 10C in many areas and while these may not seem that warm, they are much higher than normal for this time of year.

"It can’t be ruled out there could be a tropical night on the peninsular Mediterranean coast,” experts from eltiempo.es stated.  

The maximum temperatures meanwhile could reach 30C by this Friday in regions such as Murcia, the Valencia region and the Canary Islands. By Saturday, March 11th, they could even rise to 32C.  

On Sunday the maximum temperatures will be similar, while in the rest of the country, the thermal rise will continue with 30C predicted for Andalusia and the areas around the Guadalquivir River such as Seville.

Monday again will see another rise with weather forecasters predicting it will be the hottest day in some areas with temperatures of around 25C in most of the country, even in the northern parts of Cantabria.

“It is not a heat wave, but it will be abnormal,” meteorologists from eltiempo.es have explained. This is because, although the heat will be experienced over a few days, it will not be for an extended period of time.  

According to historical data from 1971, in the first half of March, Valencia has only equaled or exceeded 30C on one occasion. If the forecasts are true, this will be the second time.  

Only 23 percent of the years since 1971 have seen more than 30C in the first half of March on mainland Spain.

Last year in 2022, Spain registered its hottest year since records began in 1916. The country saw temperatures surge repeatedly in successive heat waves from May and into October, with the mercury soaring above 40C across large swathes of the country.

Spain also recorded one of its driest years in 2022, with only 2005 and 2017 having received less precipitation, causing droughts across much of the country too.  

With the thermometer already reaching up to 30C in March, who knows what the rest of 2023 could bring?

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