Winter drought in the Iberian Peninsula Weather and Climate
For the Iberian Peninsula winter of 2011-2012 was one of the driest in the last 70-80 years. In Spain, for the three winter months the average rainfall of 55 liters per km ², while the rate for the winter of 200 liters. Such a drought in Spain has not happened since 1940, and Portugal in the 1980s. Forecasts at the beginning of spring in both countries are not encouraging — dry weather will continue until the end of March.
A terrible consequence of this early spring weather were fires that destroy young vegetation in pastures and seeds of trees and shrubs, as well as the lack of moisture for crops, which will adversely affect the yield of grain (50% yield), olives (35%), tomatoes, citrus fruits and vineyards of the new year. In Portugal, the night kept cool wet weather, but the day of its positive effect is completely offset by the midday heat and lack of rain.
In the north-west Spain from fire has destroyed 400 hectares of forest in Portugal has about 200 fires. In some parts of Galicia says drying reservoirs, bare bottoms cracking from the sun. Most of them are filled with water only by two-thirds.
Portuguese pasture declined by the beginning of spring, but usually they stay until April. This may adversely affect the status of livestock in the region and lead to higher prices for the products of industry, as well as for the animals will have to buy expensive food. Spanish Andalusia and Aragon currently have land that is dry enough that this year will be unsuitable for use, even if the rain will flood. The total damage from dry weather in Malaga is estimated at 14 million euros.
The only salvation for the region could be an unexpected and prolonged rain that falls within the following two weeks. After all, none of the residents of Spain and Portugal did not want a repeat of the drought of 2005, when grain harvests have fallen by 45% to 20% of vineyards, fruit — by 13%. Portugal in the year had to spend a considerable amount to fill the energy deficit due to the shallowing of rivers and inefficient operation of hydroelectric plants. In 2005, fire destroyed nearly 340,000 hectares of forest, which is comparable to the size of. Majorca.