AFTER A very dry winter last year, the winter of 2016/17 has gone into the record books as the wettest winter on record.
It didn’t take much to upset the record books, but three or four continuous days of downpours, and freezing conditions that put snow on some beaches, such as Torrevieja for the first time in over 100 years, were enough to write new records. Keeping reports on the weather in Valencia and Alicante dates back to 1864 and apparently there had not been this much rain since authorities began keeping weather records.
This winter we received around two and a half times the considered normal rain levels for the winter season and according to Jorge Tamayo, the Valencia representative for the Spanish weather agency Aemet, their forecasts indicate that the same sort of intense weather events will occur more frequently in future due to climate change. In terms of the weather, winter is looked upon as the months of December, January and February. This year the Mediterranean region received its fair share of rain and gale-force winds, plus the unexpected snow storm in January that dropped snow on beaches along the entire coastline, closed schools and left thousands of drivers stranded.
The beaches of Torrevieja, Orihuela Costa, Guardamar, Jávea and Dénia, in Alicante province, were covered in up to 10 centimetres of snow. The combination of cold temperatures coupled with strong winds, felled power lines and left thousands of homes without power. Along with the rain and high winds, millions of euros of damage were caused by high sea swells which caused many beaches to disappear and sidewalks and beachfront properties needing major repair. The flip side side is that Torrevieja has already registered temperatures up into the 30’s and weather experts are expecting temperatures above the historical average during the Spring.