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Will this summer in Spain be as hot as the previous two?

The Local Spain
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Will this summer in Spain be as hot as the previous two?
What are the predictions for summer 2024 in Spain? Photo: JORGE GUERRERO / AFP)

2023 was the world’s hottest summer on record, with many countries including Spain experiencing scorching temperatures. What are meteorologists forecasting for summer 2024?

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2023 was in fact the second-hottest summer Spain had ever experienced – the hottest being just one year earlier in 2022.

During that year, 11,300 people died in Spain alone due to the abnormally high temperatures, marine life perished in the warming seas and even train tracks warped and became deformed.

All eyes are looking toward this summer to see what will happen and if it will be as roasting as the previous two. 

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According to the climate service Copernicus-EU, above-normal temperatures are predicted across southern Europe this summer.

And in Spain, there is a 50-70 percent chance that this summer will be one of the hottest 20 percent on record, and it will properly begin in June.

According to Spain’s State Meteorological Agency AEMET, we have already seen an abnormal rise this May.

Its quarterly prediction, which will take us up to the end of July (typically the hottest part of the summer here in Spain), states that it will almost certainly be warmer than usual on the Mediterranean side of the country, as well as the Balearic and Canary Islands.

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Copernicus agrees with these predictions and has indicated that it's very likely to be hotter than normal in certain areas of the country. It particularly singled out the Valencia region, Murcia (except the south), northern Almería and Granada, Ibiza and Formentera and the western Canary Islands.

It’s getting more and more difficult to know exactly what 'above normal' temperatures are, considering what Spain has experienced the last few years, but the reference period that many experts are basing their predictions on is from 1991-2020.

When it comes to rainfall, Copernicus has forecast that the “most likely scenario is a summer with less rain” than usual.

AEMET agreed with the prediction, stating on its X account that “most likely rainfall will be less throughout the country than what is already normally scarce in the summer season”.

 

This is bad news for many parts of Spain, such as Catalonia, Andalusia and the Canary Islands, which have already been experiencing an ongoing drought over the past two years.

Luckily, spring rains have managed to fill reservoirs just enough to see us through the summer at this point, but more rain will definitely be needed come autumn.

READ ALSO: Will drought restrictions affect summer holidays in Spain?

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While scientists agree the sizzling temperatures experienced over the past few summers are down to climate change, last year in 2023, the cyclical phenomenon known as El Niño also had a part to play in global weather patterns.

When the seas become cooler on average and it has a cooling effect on the planet, this is partly down to the effect of La Niña.

This year is supposed to be dominated by La Niña and according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the US, La Niña has a 49 percent chance of developing between June and August and a 69 percent chance between July and September.

But this doesn’t necessarily mean that this summer will be cooler than last year.

As of May 16th 2024, we're undergoing a neutral period known as El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO).

Despite the global cooling effect of La Niña in 2022, it was still the planet's sixth hottest year and the hottest in Spain ever recorded.

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