The meteorological spring 2023, from March 1 to May 31, was the hottest recorded in Spain since the beginning of climate statistics in the country, announced Wednesday the national meteorological agency (Aemet). "The spring of 2023 was the warmest in Spain in the historical series" that dates back to 1961, mainly because of the exceptionally early heat wave at the end of April, Aemet said during the presentation of a report.
During these three months, the average temperature in the country was 14.2 degrees, 1.8 degrees above the normal season and 0.3 degrees higher than the last record spring dating back to 1997. Spring 2023 was also the second driest ever recorded in Spain, according to Aemet. A hot and dry air mass from North Africa led to an all-time temperature record in mainland Spain at the end of April with 38.8 degrees in the south of the country, a level worthy of July.
This "extreme heat (...) would have been almost impossible without climate change," said a scientific study published in early May by the World Weather Attribution (WWA), a global network of scientists assessing the link between extreme weather events and climate change.
The month of May, on the other hand, was marked by temperatures on average below normal for the season, according to Aemet. Episodes of exceptionally high temperatures have multiplied in recent years in Spain, a European country on the frontline of climate change with nearly 75% of its territory at risk of desertification according to the UN. According to Aemet, 2022, a year marked by an extremely hot summer and devastating fires, was the hottest year on record in the country.