Spain endured a very hot and dry year in 2021

2021 was a very hot and dry year in Spain. The past course closed as the 11th warmest since records began in 1961, according to the latest Weather Report of the State Meteorological Agency. Europe, in general, experienced a relief and slowed down the rate of warming although the planet certified that 2021 was the seventh warmest year.

The average temperature experienced in the country, the Iberian Peninsula and the Balearic and Canary Islands archipelagos, was 14.3 ºC. It is 0.5ºC above the historical average, which covers the period 1981-2010. “It was very warm or extremely warm in Andalusia and the Region of Murcia, and between warm and very warm in the rest of the peninsular territory and the Balearic Islands. In the Canary Islands it was warm ”, explain the AEMET.

The phenomenon of having more general temperature is linked to a proliferation of maximum peaks. In 2021 there were 13 records for hot days in Spain and none for cold days, despite experiencing a historical episode such as the Filomena storm and the subsequent prolonged cold. “Despite the low temperatures recorded during the January cold wave, there have been colder days on the same date in previous years than in 2021,” the report clarifies.

In addition, the most intense heat wave recorded, at least since 1975, was experienced in the month of August: it represented a thermal anomaly of 4.1ºC. "It was also one of the most outstanding in terms of extension."

As for the sea, the temperature of the waters also rose. Overall, the thermometer was placed 0.3ºC higher than the historical average. Almost all marine areas were affected except the Galician Atlantic coast. In a large part of the Mediterranean maritime waters and the north of the Canary Islands, the anomaly of the sea surface temperature was greater than 0.5 ºC and in areas of Cabrera, Menorca, Alborán and Cádiz, the anomaly was greater than 0.7 ºC. In the heat peak of August, in the south of the Balearic Islands, 28 ºC were recorded.

2021 was a dry year, but without a drought. Rainfall in general was 89% of normal. It was the 14th less rainy course since 1961 and the seventh of the 21st century. And, although long-term dry weather conditions did not occur, in October and November the very dry phase began to take shape, which lasted until March 2022.

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