In January, Spain experienced record-breaking temperatures. Meanwhile, the Iberian Peninsula's ongoing drought problem continues to worsen.
Spain experienced a record heatwave in January 2024, with temperatures exceeding 28°C in some regions. According to AEMET, more than 90 locations broke temperature records.
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Record-breaking January in Spain
On January 25, over 400 observation stations, around half of which were part of the national network, experienced temperatures of 20 degrees Celsius or higher. The average maximum temperature across the country was about 18-19 degrees. In January, the average maximum temperature in Spain is typically 10.6 degrees Celsius, Euronews reports.
At an altitude of 1,200 metres above sea level in Fredes, Valencia, the temperature was recorded at 21.6 degrees Celsius. Despite being a ski resort usually covered in snow this time of year, Puerto de Navacerrada did not experience a temperature drop below 10 degrees Celsius overnight.
Many parts of Spain, such as Andalusia and Catalonia, have been facing an unprecedented drought for several years. The extreme heat and scarcity of rainfall have heightened worries about diminishing water resources. The water levels in reservoirs have dropped to critically low levels, and there may be even more stringent limitations on water usage imposed soon.
According to scientists at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), there is a one-third chance that 2024 will be even warmer than 2023, the warmest year ever recorded. This trend is not limited to Spain but is a global phenomenon. Dr Sarah Kapnick, NOAA's chief scientist, has warned that we can expect to see more broken records and extreme weather events until we are able to reduce carbon emissions to zero.