July confirmed as hottest on record

July 2022 has broken the 2015 record and is now confirmed as the hottest month ever recorded in Spain, with an average temperature (26.6ºC) higher than that of any month since these data began to be studied in 1961, according to the State Meteorological Agency (Aemet).

The heat wave caused in July by the presence of an Atlantic anticyclone, which moved a mass of very warm African air over the Iberian Peninsula and the Balearic Islands, seems to be to blame for the extremely high temperatures in almost the entire country that raised the average for July, while in the Canary Islands there were two heat waves.

That wave, which affected the peninsula and the Balearic Islands between July 9 and 26, was “the most important since there are records, since it was the most intense, the most extensive and the second longest in the series” after of the one suffered in 2015 (twenty-six days), confirmed Aemet.

It was also the most extensive along with that of August 2012, affecting forty provinces, and the most intense as the thermal anomaly was 4.8ºC, “far surpassing” the heat wave of August last year, which until now had been the most intense.

Thus, the average for July 2022 was even higher (0.2 ºC higher) than that for July 2015, which until now was the warmest month in Spain since the series began 61 years ago.

The thermal anomalies last month were up to 5ºC above the normal temperature in parts of Galicia, central and southern Castilla y León, Community of Madrid, Extremadura, western Castilla-La Mancha and in the interior of Andalusia and the Pyrenees, where in general, the anomaly reached 4ºC except for those specific points.

The daily maximum temperatures were on average 3.3°C above the normal value, while the minimum temperatures were 2.2°C above the average, “resulting in a daily thermal oscillation 1.1°C higher than normal of the month”, explained Aemet.

A “very dry” month

On the other hand, July 2022 has been the ninth driest month of July since there are data and the driest in the last fifteen years, with an average rainfall over mainland Spain of 8.6 millimetres, which represents 49% of the normal value of the month in the period 1981-2010.

It has also been the third least rainy of the 21st century, behind the months of July 2005 and 2007.

In the Canary Islands, however, it was the third wettest month of July in the 21st century.