Local Daily News 20th September

Climatology warns that the risk of suffering a gota fria is brought forward a month in Alicante

The up to nearly 200 litres of water per square metre discharged on average by the storms that shook the province of Alicante last weekend, with the tragic consequence of the death of a local Calp policeman when he was rescuing a driver trapped in his vehicle, have been the first warning of what is expected this coming autumn: a season marked by the risk of a gota fria similar to the one that shook the Vega Baja in 2019.

The Climatology Laboratory of the University of Alicante warns, in this sense, that the period of maximum risk has been advanced a month, and from this week any pocket of cold air in the atmosphere can generate a storm of great intensity and much rain in a short space of time. Precipitation that has an added factor and that is that the sea is 27 degrees in many parts of the coast. Another record: the province has registered 85 tropical nights since last May and according to Jorge Olcina, director of the UA Climatology Laboratory, the night heat will continue and the 93 tropical nights of 2003 can be beaten, even reaching a hundred.

“This autumn is going to force us to be very attentive to the evolution of the weather because the base conditions intensify with the heat of the sea. That is why, with very slight instability like last weekend, those storms formed. These nuclei can form at any time. Having a Mediterranean Sea still at 27 degrees forces us to take extreme precautions,” stresses Olcina.

Jorge Olcina, director of the Climatology Laboratory of the University of Alicante, warns that the summer has already surpassed the heat of 2003, the hottest since records have been recorded and has already counted 85 tropical nights since May, seven of the record (2003), which will be beaten because they continue. And the sea at 27 degrees, a bomb in case a gota fria forms. A situation for which there are still no forecasts but which climate experts do not doubt will hit the Mediterranean at any time starting this week.

The DANA undergoes a process of undulation, separation, rupture and isolation and has an intense circulation, while the gota fria is based on the cold temperature core of the closed depression. Then, the circulation is closed and the storm is isolated

The planet’s surface temperature between June and August was 0.89 degrees higher than the 20th century average of 15.6 degrees. It is the fifth warmest June-August quarter in the global temperature record, which begins in 1880, tied with 2015 and 2017. It is just 0.05 degrees cooler than June-August 2016. June to August turned out to be the hottest summer ever observed in Europe, with 2.41 degrees above normal, and the second in Asia (1.46 degrees more) and in North America (1.45 degrees more) while it tied with 2002 as the eleventh warmest in Africa.

On the other hand, AEMET highlights that the average temperature of the quarter made up of June, July and August 2022 was 24ºC, that is, 2.2ºC higher than the normal average. It was an extremely hot summer, the one with the highest average temperature in the historical series, exceeding that of 2003 by 0.4ºC, the warmest to date.

Three heat waves were recorded during the summer. The first of them, between June 12th and 18th, was the second earliest since there are records. The second, between July 9th and 26th, was extraordinary in terms of duration (with eighteen days, it was the second longest in the series) and extension (it affected 43 provinces, a historical maximum). In addition, it was the most intense heat wave of all those recorded in Spain, surpassing that of August 2021, which held the record until now. The third heat wave, which took place between July 30 and August 15, was the third longest, with seventeen days. In total, Spain was under a heat wave for 42 days, that is, practically half of the summer, far exceeding the previous record of 29 days, which occurred in 2015.

In addition to the heat, rainfall was scarce, especially in June and July, since both months were very dry. August reached a value close to the normal average in terms of rainfall, although these were mostly stormy in nature. Very adverse meteorological phenomena associated with the storms were recorded, such as the large hailstorm recorded in Catalonia at the end of August and the hot outbursts in the Valencian Community in the middle of that same month. As a whole, the summer had a very dry character, with 48 litres per square metre accumulated in the whole of Spain, which is a value 35% lower than the normal average.

With this situation, Spain as a whole ends the summer in meteorological drought, a situation in which it has remained since January 2022, and which is more intense in areas of the western and interior third of the northern half of the peninsula. The current hydrological year, which began on October 1st, 2021 and will end on September 30th, is being very dry: with rainfall currently 25% less than the normal value, it is likely that it will end up being among one of the three most dried from the historical series when it ends.

Although the strictly meteorological summer includes the months of June, July and August, in Spain a lengthening of summers is being observed to the detriment of autumn and, especially, spring. It is estimated that, since the 1980s, summers have lengthened ten days per decade. In this sense, it should be noted that this circumstance has been very present in 2022, with a very warm month of May and very little rainfall. May was warmer than about 16% of the months of June since the 1960s and it reached over 40ºC in points in the south of the Peninsula.

The surface temperature of the water in the Mediterranean Sea has been above normal values continuously since the beginning of May, and since the first week of July, also continuously, it has recorded temperatures that are 5% of the highest of the historical series, reaching an average value above 29ºC in mid-August, an absolute record.

It is a proven fact that greenhouse gas emissions are causing an increase in global temperatures. In Spain, this warming has been estimated at around 1.4ºC since the 1950s. Although the spatial and temporal variability in terms of rainfall is very large, rainfall in the country as a whole has decreased by around 12% in the same period. This clear increase in temperatures and a slight decrease in rainfall has resulted in an extension of arid climates in our country. It is estimated that, since the mid-20th century, arid-type climates have doubled in size in Spain, advancing at a rate of more than 1,500 km² per year. This means that, every five years, an area equivalent to that of the province of Alicante acquires an arid climate in our country.

Three seriously injured in an accident when a vehicle crashed into a roundabout in Torrevieja

Three people have been injured with polytrauma in a traffic accident that occurred at around four in the morning this Sunday in Torrevieja. The accident occurred when the vehicle, in which the driver and two other occupants were travelling, was circulating along Avenida de Ronda de Ricardo Lafuente in the direction of Calle Orihuela-CV-90 and ended up embedded in the roundabout known as del ” Phil”. The car has directly hit the palm trees located in the centre of the roundabout.

The driver has given a positive breathalyser test. The violence of the impact has broken one of the trunks and the crown of one of the palm trees has also collapsed on the car. The road was wet due to the light rainfall that has been recorded this Sunday in some parts of the city.

The firefighters have intervened to help the health personnel and the agents of the Local Police to evict the occupants of the vehicle and transfer them to the University Hospital of Torrevieja. Two patrols from the Torrevieja Local Police, three Basic Life Support ambulances, and two vehicles from the Torrevieja-Vega Baja Sur Fire Station have moved to the site.

Prison for the man who climbed nine floors in Alicante to attack his ex-partner

“If I’m not with him I feel like he’s going to kill me.” That’s how frightened the woman was who had to flee hastily at half past two in the morning last Sunday after her ex-partner burst through the window at her home after climbing nine floors up the facade on Calle Italia in Alicante. Her ex-partner, 35 years old and with a history of abuse, was released from prison last June and this Monday she has returned to the prison by order of the Court of Violence against Women number 2 of Alicante. The head magistrate of this court has agreed to his imprisonment after being arrested by the National Police moments after the incident and the preliminary proceedings have initially been opened, and without prejudice to further qualification, for a crime of breach of sentence, two crimes of trespassing and a minor crime of injuries, according to reports from the Superior Court of Justice (TSJ).

Likewise, the TSJ specifies that the magistrate has agreed as a precautionary measure the prohibition of communication by any means or procedure and of approaching less than 500 metres from the home, workplace or any place frequented by the victim. The now imprisoned man already had a restraining order from his ex-partner and, according to the victim, since he was released from prison last June he has not stopped calling her with the intention of meeting her.

The ex-partner of the man detained by the Police assures that the prisoner was going for her and affirms that if she had gone to bed he would have killed her. However, she was awake at her home with a friend, who struggled with the man when he broke into the house. The victim fled down the stairs and when she went down she met the Police, who had been alerted to the presence of a person when she was climbing to the height of the sixth floor.

The suspect tried to flee through the balconies and entered another house, where he told the residents that he was not going to harm them and that he just wanted to go outside. He was thus able to flee but once outside he was arrested by the Police, who in addition to the aforementioned crimes also accused him of attempting to attack an agent.

A Dutch couple drowned on the beach of La Mata in Torrevieja

A couple drowned Monday morning on the beach of La Mata, in Torrevieja, on the stretch of coast located next to the Torre del Embarcadero in La Mata town. The deceased are a 56-year-old man and a 55-year-old woman, tourists of Dutch nationality, according to sources from the Generalitat Emergency Coordination Centre (CICU).

At around 1:40 p.m., the firefighters of the Consortium moved a helicopter and units from the Torrevieja park to the beach given the data that the current could have trapped more people, since up to six people jumped into the water to try to rescue the couple, according to sources from the Provincial Firefighters Consortium, including staff from a restaurant in the area. It was the woman who, in view of the obvious difficulties that her husband had to stay afloat in the water, tried to help him first, although she herself was also dragged by the powerful waves.

The health services have moved two SAMU units and one Basic Life Support unit to the beach to deal with the emergency. At first they managed to stabilise the woman but shortly after she died, leaving the bodies of the married couple covered on the sand awaiting the arrival of the funeral services and the judicial commission. Several local police officers were also present at the scene.

During the day, the coast of Torrevieja presents a complicated maritime situation, with strong gusts of easterly wind and a hard swell that beats the beaches and cliff areas of the municipality. Despite this, numerous people were bathing at noon on Monday, both on this open beach of La Mata, especially dangerous in situations of the east due to the development of strong currents, as well as on the rest of the Torrevieja coastline.

The beaches of Torrevieja have not had a lifeguard service since last September 15. Nor has the red flag been placed by the municipal services -police or civil protection- or a device to warn users of the danger of the maritime situation, despite the fact that the influx of public was important and the risk presented by the swim on this open, obvious beach. Precisely today some residents of La Mata had alerted several municipal officials early in the morning of the danger of keeping the beach open for bathing without a lifeguard service in the face of what is the first maritime storm in three months. The City Council assumes that the absence of a flag is also an indication and alert that the service is not provided. In other coastal municipalities, the Local Police, when it is still bathing season and there is no lifeguard service, are to raise and lower the flags.

The Levante storms have claimed the lives of many bathers on the Vega Baja coast in recent years. In September of last year, two young people lost their lives in a popular Torrevieja cove, also on a day with a lot of waves. In August 2021, a Scandinavian couple drowned on the beaches of Guardamar, which are an extension of La Mata beach, also with similar sea conditions in the Levante storm.

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