It’s a matter of hours. In just over two days, the entire peninsula will go from having temperatures well above normal to being plunged into much colder temperatures than we are used to. Some areas of the country are already noticing it: we are going from summer to winter and we are doing it in the blink of an eye.
But the most striking thing is not that, the most striking thing is that it is not the first time that it happens. And I’m not talking about this decade, or even this year. This is not the first time this has happened this month.
April has gone crazy. Today Tuesday we will live a whole roller coaster at a thermal level, both on the peninsula and on the islands. However, it is the interior of the country that takes the cake and, from one day to the next, cities like Madrid, Valladolid or Ciudad Real will drop up to 14 degrees in temperature. For its part, the maximum temperatures in communities such as Asturias, Cantabria, the Basque Country or Castilla y León will be between 10 and 13 degrees. The maxims. At the end of April.
Moreover, it will not only be a matter of cold. The change in weather will be accompanied by rains throughout the country and even snowfall at surprisingly low levels for this time. So that we understand each other: we are going to go from temperatures (and weather) typical of June to typical temperatures of January.
What is happening now? It cannot be said that it is a novelty, the phenomenon is similar to the one we suffered a few weeks ago. As of Monday, north and northwest component winds began to enter the peninsula. Once again, the atmospheric dynamics of northern Europe are acting as a buffer. A plug that ends up deflecting the jet of polar air towards the peninsula. And, in this case, also towards the Canary Islands (which will help clear the skies of the islands after days of stagnation).
Are we facing the new normal? As the AEMET points out, it is not usual to have so many changes or so radical in so few days. In this sense, it seems inevitable to ask whether what we are experiencing this year is the result of an especially rare series of meteorological shocks or are we seeing the first effects of something that climate scientists have been saying for a long time: that extreme weather events are going to go to more
According to calculations by the World Meteorological Organization, in the 1980s, 1,400 extreme weather, climate and water events were recorded; in the 1990s there were just over 2,200; in the first decade of the 21st century, 3,500 were reached and during the latter, the one that goes from 2010 to 2019, we touched 3,200. Logically, experts say, this has to be noticed more and more in the day to day of humanity.
It’s still early, but not so much. Obviously, we don’t have enough climatic evidence to say that the old springs are gone forever. However, it does seem clear that we are headed for a redefinition of the seasons and, related to that, to a much more unstable climate than we are used to. With the consequences that this entails. This year, it seems that we are going to avoid the worst consequences of the drought; but sheer weather luck won’t last forever.
Image | Vidar Nordli Mathisen
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism