RAINFALL records have been smashed in the Murcia region with the State Meteorological Agency(Aemet) saying that it was the wettest May in the area since 1941.
Further north in Alicante province, it’s been the highest recorded May for rainfall since 1982.
Aemet predicts that the mixture of sun, showers and storms will continue until mid-June.
Aemet’s Murcia director, Juan Esteban Palenzuela, said that the average May falls in the region came in at 115 litres per m2, compared to the two previous highs of 98 litres in 1976 and 103 litres in 1959.
In Alicante province, the picture varied between municipalities with Alicante City accumulating 95.4 litres of rain per m2- the highest since 1980.
The highest numbers were in the El Comtat region in the north, with l’Orxa logging 333.6 litres per m2.
In the south, Torrevieja recorded nine consecutive days of rain on Tuesday- the first time that has happened in the city in any month since records began in 1927.
Professor Jorge Olcina from Alicante University’s climatology department said: “The rainy month has been caused by high pressure over northern France and the British Isles interacting with low pressure and cold air in southern Europe- especially the western Mediterranean basin.”
“These are atmospheric conditions that generate instability and the formation of storms,” he added.
One big benefit for both the Alicante and Murcia areas is that the chances of drought restrictions later in the summer have eased with the Segura basin reservoirs seeing reserves rise by 15 hectometres in the last week.
Basin organisation(CHS) president, Marrio Urrea, said that but for this unusually wet period, ‘the Murcia region would have entered a drought alert situation in July’.
Farmers nevertheless have been told to be prudent in using water since despite the recent rains, the area is still in a prolonged period of drought.