Spain on track for warmest first quarter on record

AFP/The Local
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Spain on track for warmest first quarter on record
People sunbathe on San Sebastián beach in Barcelona on January 26th 2024 as temperatures around 30°C were recorded in Spain. (Photo by Josep LAGO / AFP)

Despite the recent rain and snow, the first three months of 2024 were likely Spain's warmest first quarter since current records began in 1961, national weather office Aemet said Tuesday based on preliminary data.


The average temperature in mainland Spain during the first three months of the year was 9.5 degrees Celsius (49.1 degrees Fahrenheit), or 1.9 degrees higher than average for the period and 0.1 degrees above the previous record set in 1997, the office said.


"As both January and February were very warm months, with the provisional data currently available, we can say the first quarter of 2024 is the warmest" since records began in 1961, Aemet spokesman Ruben del Campo told reporters.

The record still needs to be confirmed by final data.


Spain experienced its warmest January this year since current records began in 1961, with temperatures nearing 30C in the eastern region of Valencia.

The unseasonable winter weather, which drew people to beaches and outdoor cafes across Spain, worsened a lengthy drought in Catalonia in the northeast and in the southern region of Andalusia.

The Canary island of Tenerife has also declared a drought emergency

Catalonia's regional government in February declared a drought emergency for Spain's second-largest city of Barcelona and much of the surrounding region, imposing stricter water use restrictions, mainly for industry and agriculture.

Water levels at reservoirs in the Mediterranean region remained exceptionally low, at around 16 percent of full capacity, but heavy rains over the past week have improved levels in Andalusia which is now mulling easing its water use restrictions.

READ MORE: Storm Nelson dampens Spain's Semana Santa celebrations

Spain had in 2022 experienced its hottest year since Aemet's annual records began, with an average annual temperature of nearly 15.5C.

It was the first time that the average yearly temperature surpassed 15C.


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