Spain is officially in a state of long-term drought after registering another warmer-than-average winter, according to a report released on Friday by Spain's state meteorological agency AEMET.
For the first time on record, Spain has seen five unusually warm winters in a row. However, AEMET says the effects of a warming climate are seen in Spain most acutely in the summer months.
This winter, despite moments of chilly temperatures, there were no official 'cold waves.' Instead, temperatures were an average of 0.8 C (1.44 F) warmer than usual in Peninsular Spain.
At the same time, Spain saw its hottest December on record.
While Spain received slightly more precipitation than normal this winter, it wasn't enough to pull the country out of a drought.
Since Spain has been in a state of drought since January 2022, it officially entered into the category of long-term drought this winter, which Spain defines as lasting at least 12 months.
While the situation is worrying, especially around Spain's Mediterranean coast, AEMET said that the country has experienced significantly worse droughts in the early 1980s, the mid-1990s, and from 2005 to 2009.
Even so, Catalonia has already imposed water limitations on individuals and businesses, which, among other things, forbid watering public green spaces.
While AEMET said that it is hard to predict what will happen this spring, it forecasts average levels of rainfall and warmer-than-usual temperatures.
The summer is even more challenging to predict accurately, but the weather agency said signs point to another abnormally hot summer that could be marked by major forest fires.
Source: Anadolu Agency