The coldest inhabited area in the country is located between Teruel and Guadalajara, where the lowest temperatures have been recorded since the last century. The record is in December 1963 with -30ºC, almost five degrees below 'Filomena'.
Filomena has drastically reduced temperatures throughout Spain. But if there is one area that has stood out above all the others, it is the one delimited by Teruel, Calamocha and Molina de Aragón (Guadalajara). Known as cold triangle It has made history again, because after the storm, it has set historical temperature records. The thermometers marked in the area from 17.4 degrees below zero to 25.2 degrees below zero on January 12, literally leaving this curious 'cold polygon' in our country frozen.
The minimum of 25.2 degrees below zero was recorded in the Molina de Aragón station, thus becoming the place and the coldest day in the last 57 years in Spain. With this low temperature, it has also crept into the 'top 3' of the coldest days in the country. All of them, in addition, are registered in that same cold triangle.
Spain has gone through days with even lower temperatures than Filomena has brought, but not everyone will remember them. And you have to go back to the December 17, 1963 so that the historical record of the State Meteorological Agency (AEMET) includes such a cold day in inhabited areas. It happened in the now defunct Calamocha-Vor station in Teruel, about 800 meters above sea level, where it reached 30 degrees below zero.
The memory remains intact in the city, with a commemorative plaque that recalls that one day it set an unprecedented record and that even today it has not been surpassed. For a temperature as low as that to be recorded, conditions have to be ideal from a climatic point of view. Before Filomena, there is another historical record with a temperature that is also really low. It was in 1952, also in Molina de Aragón, when it reached 28.2 degrees below zero.
It coincides that the three coldest temperatures in the country in the second half of the 20th century and what we have been in the 21st have occurred in this 'ice triangle'. The term was coined by the scientific popularizer Vicente Aupí in the 90s, who in 2013 published a book with the results of his research entitled 'The ice triangle. Teruel, Calamocha, Molina de Aragón: Climate study of the Spanish cold pole '.
Aemet clarifies that these cold records refer to inhabited areas, since during the Filomena storm there were measurements even lower than these (León or Pyrenees, for example), although they were not population centers.
In his studies he came to the conclusion that the cold waves that lead to -20º to the area that delimits Guadalajara from Teruel they occur "every decade, one or several times, since the end of the XIX", as explained in an interview with the newspaper The country. And although the frequency has decreased, before Filomena arrived, the area had marked -18º in February 2018.
What about climate change?
But if this cold can be reached, where is the climate change? It is the question that many Spaniards continue to ask themselves. The answer is that "time is not climate", as the AEMET meteorologist Delia Gutiérrez Rubio clarifies in a recent article published on the institution's blog. "The truth is that the evidence of global warming of the planet is overwhelming, and is verified month after month and year after year in a barrage of scientific data," says the researcher. In this link We explain it to you in detail.
An example is given by the institution itself, because as it explains, for every record cold in the last decade, 18 warms have been recorded. In other words, from 2011 to 2020, 95% have registered a record for warm temperatures and only 5% of the time has thermometers frozen.
Climate change is not only associated with heat, but also with the greater occurrence of extreme phenomena such as storms such as Filomena. Therefore, the population must adapt, not only to rising temperatures and the increased influx of heat waves, but also to "episodes such as the storm Filomena this winter or the storm Gloria last."
However, and as the Aemet researcher points out, the most important thing from now on is “to commit ourselves to transformation of our economic model and consumption ”, as it is the only way to stop this increasingly marked trend of warming of our planet and, at the same time,“ harmonize our way of life with respect for the climate system in which we develop it ”.