Castelló suffers from a more extreme climate with more damaging and frequent storms

Some young people observe the effects of ‘Gloria’ on a beach in Castelló.
Gabriel Utiel

A white blanket covered the streets of Nules and other parts of La Plana barely three weeks ago. Was the most outstanding meteorological incidence of a month of April marked by rains -at various torrential points- and sudden changes in temperature. In January, attention was focused on the storm Filomena, which covered the interior with snow and left strong waves on the coast. And just a few weeks before the coronavirus pandemic, at the beginning of 2020, practically the entire province suffered from Gloria’s claws.

The story details other similar inclement events in past years and decades. Strong floods, beaches engulfed for days by the rough seas or snowfalls that altered the day-to-day life of the cattle ranching in the interior. Now, an article published by the State Meteorological Agency (Aemet), confirms an extreme that until now was perceived subjectively. The storms in the Mediterranean area, including Castellón, recur more frequently, and with increasing intensity.

This is the conclusion you have reached Peio Oria Iriarte, member of the Aemet delegation in Navarra, after analyzing the daily precipitation data in meteorological stations, and that present “a sufficiently complete and homogeneous record during the last decades”.

In his argumentation, Oria recounts «the high number of events so far in the 21st century and the decade between 2010 and 2020 as well as the occurrence of practically all of them between the months of September and January, which is not surprising, within a context of Mediterranean climate. Likewise, it has been found that practically all the episodes are associated with the approach of damage from the south of the Peninsula. On the other hand, the humid contribution of subtropical origin and coming from the east is almost always a common denominator ».

“There is an increase in frequency and intensification of the situations that cause very heavy or torrential rains and of significant extension in the whole of the Spanish Mediterranean”

Peio Oria Iriarte – Aemet

Trends

Due to the marked trends, he concludes that there is a «Increase in frequency and intensification of situations that cause very heavy or torrential rains and of significant extension in the whole of the Spanish Mediterranean». And puts as a reference the most devastating of recent storms, Gloria. “This is a great example of a high-impact episode. After analyzing the data using a sufficiently reliable and rigorous statistical method, it can be affirmed that never before has there been a storm with so much precipitation over all the selected stations during three consecutive days and never before have there been three storms as intense and followed in time as those of September and October of the year 2019, in addition to Gloria».

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The coastal area of ​​Almassora, hit by a storm. Mediterranean


The territorial delegate of the Aemet in the Community, Jorge Tamayo, detailed to Mediterranean that this article «shows something that we all see intuitively, and that is that there are more adverse phenomena, and each time stronger. A situation that does not mean an increase in accumulated rainfall each year. “They are more concentrated and more torrential,” Tamayo said. Rain that falls in this way has a greater chance of leaving a more bleak trail of destruction beside it.

“This article” shows something that we all see intuitively, and that is that there are more adverse phenomena, and each time stronger. “

Jorge Tamayo – Territorial Delegate of Aemet in the Community

Sea temperature

The Professor of Climate Analysis and director of the Climate Laboratory of the Universitat Jaume I, José Quereda, He added that one of the factors that have contributed the most to these extreme manifestations of the climate “has its origin in the marine warming, about a degree and a half more.” The The contrast between a temperate sea and a cold atmosphere is often the trigger for isolated high-level depressions, best known by their acronym DANA. “There is an accumulation of more heat in the sea water, so there is an enhancement of these phenomena when the cold polar or subpolar air arrives over the Mediterranean,” Quereda explained.

“There is an accumulation of more heat in the sea water, so there is an enhancement of these phenomena when the cold polar or subpolar air arrives over the Mediterranean”

José Quereda – Professor of Climate Analysis UJI

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People walk on the top of Mount Bartolo during the storm ‘Filomena’. Mediterranean


Climate change?

The measurements show that the weather is more troubled in the province than in past decades, but experts agree in being cautious about whether it can be directly attributed to climate change. Still, Jorge Tamayo recalled that of this concept «it was already spoken in the 80s, and after all these years we see that the tendencies that they pointed out are fulfilled, especially when it comes to temperature. ‘ Quereda also points out the possibility of “a combined action between greater radiation from the sun in seawater, which would be combined with the action of man. The data at this time would suggest that the origin is due to various causes.

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