weather is not a bookmaker

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Let’s go to the facts: as of Thursday, March 3, a mass of very cold air of polar origin will enter the Iberian Peninsula, giving rise to a DANA, a sudden drop in temperatures and widespread rain and snow. It will begin to be noticed (it is already being noticed) in the northwest and will come out through the Balearic Islands, leaving in its wake some rainfall that we all hope will be generous, yes. But in the face of the “greatest storm so far this year” as has been announced in the media? What exactly does that mean in a year like this?


In the country of the blind…. The truth is that we have been in a situation of generalized drought since 2014. This means that each season it has rained less than the historical average (1971-2000) until generating a global, constant and increasingly widespread deficit. This has not only not been an exception, but it has deepened the problem: since October 1, 2021 it has fallen only 25% of normal in some areas and the effects are being noticed. We are talking about the largest droughts in hundreds of years.

…the one-eyed man is the King. Considering this and that we are still in the month of March, any normal storm (even if the precipitations are not especially high) “is unprecedented so far this year.” We have already talked several times about how the spectacularization of weather information ends up eroding public understanding of the weather situation.

Cabañuelas are back: how virality and 14-day predictions are breaking the weather

a very serious problem. However, there is a much more serious problem here. In recent weeks, the idea that these erratic and isolated rains “can end the drought” has been repeatedly toyed with. The truth is that no, they cannot. We need an exceptionally high rainy season so that the country does not enter a severe drought phase and restrictions on irrigation begin. We are in a situation where, as the climatologist Jorge Olcina says, “new transfers will no longer be possible nor will the existing ones be maintained.” Rains like this week are patches and hope that they are the solution, magical thinking.

“All Red”. Although we are often not aware, this type of media coverage affects the “random” nature of the weather. And it is true that with our current technology we cannot make predictions as precise as we would like: but trusting everything to rain can have catastrophic consequences for the country’s economy and ecosystems. It is true, we are not experiencing the “worst drought in 1,200 years” as in the Southwest of North America, but the situation is far from good.

weather for adults And the worst thing is that it is in our power to solve it. The drought that lasted between 1991 and 1995 was not worse than the current one in hydric terms; it was in its consequences and repercussions. In these 20 years, our planning capacity and our water management tools have improved a lot and, thanks to this, we are managing to save furniture. From now on, long periods of drought are going to be more and more normal. It’s time to stop looking at the sky and get down to work.

Image | GTRES

Let’s go to the facts: as of Thursday, March 3, a mass of very cold air of polar origin will…

Let’s go to the facts: as of Thursday, March 3, a mass of very cold air of polar origin will…

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