The rain in Spain … and Portugal

  • MeteoEarth image showing location of the low pressure system today, just south-east of the Azores.

    Surface pressure map for Portugal and Spain on Monday showing the low pressure centre close to south-west Iberia.

    Predicted rainfall totals to the end of Sunday. Models are suggesting there is the potential for 50-100mm of rain, perhaps slightly more in some places.

  • The rain in Spain … and Portugal
    15.10.2015 13:58

    The last couple of weeks have brought a good deal of settled, dry weather to many parts of the UK. This has been down to an area of high pressure which has been either directly over or very close to the country. As discussed in an earlier news item (see: Unsettled in the Med) this high pressure is part of a blocking pattern which has diverted low pressure systems towards southern Europe and given some very unsettled weather in the Mediterranean.  For example, France saw torrential rain and flooding during the first weekend of the month and parts of Italy were affected by thundery downpours on Wednesday of this week.

    This weekend will see another spell of stormy weather as a deep low pressure system approaches Portugal and Spain. The low is currently over the Atlantic Ocean having delivered a spell of heavy rain to the Azores this week. The centre of the low will move towards the Canary Islands on Friday, before looping northwards towards the Iberian Peninsula on Saturday.

    Outbreaks of rain and thunderstorms are expected to start to push north-eastwards across Portugal and Spain on Saturday and will continue to affect many areas on Sunday. Rainfall totals are expected to be high – many computer models forecast 50-100mm of rain on Sunday, perhaps slightly more in some areas – and as a result there will be a risk of flash flooding. This risk is highest in south-western parts of both Spain and Portugal. On Monday and Tuesday the rain will push east to affect more of Iberia before largely clearing by mid-week. It will also become very windy in western parts of the peninsula, particularly the Atlantic coast of Portugal, where there will be the risk of gales this weekend too.

    It isn’t that unusual for weather like this to affect Spain and Portugal in the autumn, although we’re probably more used to Atlantic storms affecting more north-westerly parts of Europe. For example, the UK looks set for more unsettled conditions next week as the high pressure which has brought recent fine weather starts to drift southwards. This will probably allow low pressure systems to move in from the Atlantic to affect the country, with northern parts looking most likely to see some wet and windy weather. Something to keep an eye on ... 

    By: George Goodfellow