Climate Change

Deluge in Spain continues, could still face its driest summer in over 6 decades

Some areas see more rainfall in a day than normally seen in an entire month; wet weather to continue

By Nandita Banerji
Published: Wednesday 31 May 2023
Firefighters drain water from a house in El Llano de Molina district. Photo: @112rmurcia / Twitter

Record rainfall has flooded parts of Spain, including roads and metro stations, adding to the problems created by a prolonged drought. The rains began on May 22, 2023 and follow Spain’s driest spring to date through May 21. The country is, however, on track for its driest summer despite the deluge.

Huge swathes of the country have been placed under yellow warning by Spain’s meteorological office (AEMET) due to the risk of heavy rain and storms, reported European television news network Euronews. 

Heavy rain over the past week wreaked havoc along Spain’s Mediterranean coast and in the capital, Madrid. Some areas saw more rainfall in a day than is normally seen in an entire month. Affected regions include Andalusia, Alicante, Barcelona, Ibiza, Madrid and Valencia. 

Read more: Drought to deluge: Heavy rain causes flash flooding across southern Spain

Flash flooding has turned streets in Murcia into rivers as buildings flooded and road closures have taken effect across southern parts of the country. Authorities battled to drain the streets as the extreme weather follows weeks of drought.

Despite the downpours, Spain is on track for its driest summer since record-keeping began in 1961, according to AEMET. Some parts in the Valencia region recorded more rainfall during a few days last week than they did in the previous six months.

Northern half of the peninsula and the Canary Islands are still facing dry conditions. However, for southeast Spain, rainfall has exceeded three times the normal value for the month in some areas.

The town of Ontinyent had the highest rainfall in one day for more than 100 years. It saw 130 litres per square metre fall in 24 hours, Euronews further reported. Molina del Segura is also an area of concern as rescue forces have been brought in due to the situation potentially becoming life-threatening.

The wet weather is set to continue throughout this week in areas including Madrid and Valencia, according to the AEMET, although conditions are set to be less severe than the previous seven days.

Subscribe to Daily Newsletter :

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.