Are the Winter blues behind us?

March 20, 2011 at 11:42 am | Posted in Spring | Leave a comment
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Just when it looked as if the weekend would produce perfect Spring weather the cloud rolled in. Fortunately yesterday was good, and even today is good along much of the costa. Must not complain, though, we had 3 good days (Thursday, Friday and Saturday), the best weather since early December. Bad news for later in the week. A Levanter (strong east-southeast wind) may develop and bring leaden skies, some rain,  and highs of 16 or 17 at best. There is some good news. The sea has just started to warm up. Only 16, but a slow rise should begin now, and apart from the odd hiccup, we will see values in the high teens by early May with the usual 20+ as June sets in. Shouldn’t wish time away but it will be nice when the cold winds and grey skies are put to bed for another year.

The last chance to swim on Malaga beaches

October 16, 2009 at 1:58 pm | Posted in General | Leave a comment
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The sea temperatures off the beaches of the Costa del Sol are falling below 21 Celsius, and for the casual swimmer the bathing costumes are about to be consigned to the cupboard for the rest of the autumn. This weekend should just about be okay for the  last dip, but heavy rain next week will probably help to lower water temperatures by several degrees.

Despite that note of pessimism, October has been a good month so far. Air temperatures exceeded 32 Celsius on 2 occasions during the first week, making it the warmest  October weather in the Malaga area for 10 years. Even so, these relatively high temperatures were well short of the October record. On both the 14th October 1971 and 11th October 1952 the temperature rose to 36 Celsius along parts of the Costa del Sol.

A normal July?……..No!

July 12, 2009 at 1:11 pm | Posted in Extreme weather, Summer | 1 Comment
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Malaga weather in July was dry, warm and sunny

There are 3 words that instantly come to mind when describing the July weather in Malaga. They are Dry, warm (and) sunny. The first word is 95% correct. It rarely rains in July, and if it occurs, it does little to spoil a day on the beach. The second word is 90% correct. Occasionally high cloud weakens the sunshine, and grey, misty low cloud, or fog has been known to affect beaches for half a day, but the third word – warm – is open to greater interpretation, especially if sea temperatures are thrown into the debate.

July weather was not normal

During the last 2 weeks we have seen air temperatures rise close to 40 Celsius (104F) on 3 different days, and that’s hot by any standard, even taking into account the very low relative humidity (10%). There have also been some unusually cool afternoons, around 21 Celsius (70F), and that’s where this July is NOT normal.

Cold sea water

An upwelling of cold water occurred during the last week of June, and although this event happens 2 or 3 times every Summer, it is an event largely unknown by visitors and conveniently ignored by the media. Sea temperature maps suggest a value of 23 or 24 Celsius (73-75F) at this time of year, and even some of the so-called reputable sources suggest a sea temperature of 23 Celsius at the moment!! Okay, it may be 23 a few kilometres out from the shoreline, but thousands of swimmers can testify that for the last fortnight, between Almeria and Algeciras, the sea temperature has been between 16 and 19 Celsius (61-66F). These values are lower than those currently found in the southern Baltic and along the Dutch coast!

Each year an upwelling of cold water occurs along the Costa del Sol during the summer months, and sometimes there are 2 or 3 separate cold sea events, but this year 2 have merged, or more correctly, a partial event received a kick to make a full-blooded upwelling. The cause for an upwelling along the coast is the evaporation of surface water leading to an increase of density as the water becomes more saline. Eventually, often aided by hot and dry offshore winds, the slab of dense salty water sinks and is replaced by less salty, but much colder, water from the depths. Within hours, a large section of coastal water can have a decrease in surface temperature of 6 or 7 degrees Celsius (11-13F).

The latest event began normally towards the end of June after a dry month, but rather than the usual slow increase in temperature, the hot and dry offshore winds of early July produced an even greater upwelling!

At last, though, the sea temperature is beginning to rise again, and probably in a week or so, normality will return……at least for while!

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