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Spain on track for warmest first quarter on record

Madrid, April 2 (AFP) Apr 02, 2024
The first three months of 2024 were likely Spain's warmest first quarter since current records began in 1961, national weather office Aemet said Tuesday based on preliminary data.

The average temperature in mainland Spain during the first three months of the year was 9.5 degrees Celsius (49.1 degrees Fahrenheit), or 1.9 degrees higher than average for the period and 0.1 degrees above the previous record set in 1997, the office said.

"As both January and February were very warm months, with the provisional data currently available, we can say the first quarter of 2024 is the warmest" since records began in 1961, Aemet spokesman Ruben del Campo told reporters. The record still needs to be confirmed by final data.

Spain experienced its warmest January this year since current records began in 1961, with temperatures nearing 30C in the eastern region of Valencia.

The unseasonable winter weather, which drew people to beaches and outdoor cafes across Spain, worsened a lengthy drought in Catalonia in the northeast and in the southern region of Andalusia.

Catalonia's regional government in February declared a drought emergency for Spain's second-largest city of Barcelona and much of the surrounding region, imposing stricter water use restrictions, mainly for industry and agriculture.

Water levels at reservoirs in the Mediterranean region remained exceptionally low, at around 16 percent of full capacity, but heavy rains over the past week have improved levels in Andalusia which is now mulling easing its water use restrictions.

Spain had in 2022 experienced its hottest year since Aemet's annual records began, with an average annual temperature of nearly 15.5C.

It was the first time that the average yearly temperature surpassed 15C.


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