The huge rainwater fall on Tuesday in the Balearic Islands was "extraordinary", very localized, rare and historic, according to the State Meteorological Agency (AEMET) that has indicated that in the San Pere area have accumulated more than 230 liters per square meter in a single day, more than a third of what usually rains throughout the year.
The deputy spokesman of the AEMET, Rubén del Campo, has explained to Europa Press that Although the media are "a theoretical value", in the most affected area, east of Mallorca, more than 200 liters per square meter were collected on Tuesday, when the normal for the whole year is between 600 and 800 liters per meter square. "One third of what it rains throughout the year or even more has fallen in a day," he stressed.
So, he pointed out that the risk notices were changing throughout the day, they started with yellow (risk), because they expected more than 20 liters per square meter in an hour; at 6.30 pm it increased to orange (significant risk) when there were accumulations of 40 liters per square meter in one hour or per 100 liters per square meter accumulated in 12 hours and, subsequently, around 9.30 pm, the risk intensified and a red warning (extreme) was issued, foreseeing an accumulation of more than 200 liters per square meter in some areas. "That's the maximum warning level," he recalls.
Regarding whether it was planned or not, the spokesman admits that the prediction and the warning pointed out the possibility of heavy rains but has commented that it is "very difficult to predict such intense and localized precipitation". Thus, it has indicated that there was a line of storms "quite narrow" but that it affected "fully" Artá, San Llorens and San Pere, the most affected places.
In particular, he said that Sant Llorenç has a manual meteorological station that collected 220 liters per square meter throughout the day, but according to del Campo, it can be assumed that this precipitation fell during the 4 to 6 hours in which it was raining.
But nevertheless, to "only eight kilometers", in Manacor, 23 liters per square meter were collected in 24 hours. "With current technology it is very difficult to refine the prediction more," he says.
On the other hand, has indicated that this precipitation was "very local" and has defined it as "exceptional" in terms of quantity and duration. In fact, he added that the Department of Climatology of the AEMET has studied how often such a thing can happen.
According to this study of the return period, in the station closest to the colony of San Pere, where 233 liters per square meter were collected this can happen once every more than 1,000 years, so he insists that this phenomenon is "very rare". Also near, in Artá, where 161 liters per square meter have been collected, the return period is 80 years.
"It has been a very intense phenomenon, very local and in which intensity was combined with persistence for between 4 and 6 hours", Del Campo reiterated that it confirms that the recorded data represent a record for the area, although he added that the meteorological stations in the area are new, of ten or twelve years, so they do not accumulate a long historical series.
On the other hand, has commented that in Malaga have also accumulated more than 200 liters per square meter in 24 hours. For example, he noted that this Wednesday, until 09.00 hours have collected 150 liters per square meter in Benahavis and 111 liters per square meter in Coin until 11.00.
This Thursday will change the situation since according to the spokesman a new Atlantic front will arrive in the west of the Peninsula while it will tend to remit in the Mediterranean.
In fact, he has anticipated that these precipitations will affect "a good part" of the peninsular western half and that the risk warnings will be transferred to the Galician rias and Cádiz.
In the face of Hispanic Day and the weekend, Del Campo commented that on Friday and Saturday will be days of low rainfall and stable weather, with temperatures above normal, while from the second half of Saturday and on Sunday a new front could reach the Peninsula with rainfall that will begin in the west.
Finally, he added that there is still uncertainty about what could happen with Cyclone Leslie. However, it seems that at the moment, the cyclone is most likely to recede and head back towards the southwest and away from Spain towards the Central Atlantic. In any case, part of its influence could reach the Canary Islands in the form of a maritime storm.