Alicante climate has gone south

As a geography teacher here in Alicante before I retired two years ago, I realized that on issues of local climate change, hydrology and historical patterns of local weather, there was only one reliable authority: Jorge Olcina, the professor of climatology at the University of Alicante. His regular articles on climate and weather in the provincial newspaper Información de Alicante are unmissable if you live in the province, as he is more reliable than the long-term weather forecast.

In an article on 6 August – which could be easily missed as it did not have the word Covid in it – Olcina made the claim that the climate we experience in the western Mediterranean can no longer be described as “Mediterranean”. It is more accurate now to describe it as “tropical”.

I was so impressed with the article that I cut it out and pinned it to my kitchen noticeboard in the place of honour next to the recipe for gazpacho, the holy Saint Clare of Assisi, and the image of the holy foal Aitana.

In expectation of the September rains, I am now preparing storm drains on the donkey terraces. This involves early rising to do as much digging and concreting as possible before it is too hot to work. At some point very soon we will get another super storm like last year’s spectacular “gota fria”.

Every day counts now in preparations to minimise the storm damage. A video of last September’s storm – taken from a balcony in Alicante early in the morning on the day of the spectacular electrical storm accompanied by torrential rains – shows why preparations are necessary. The blog will take second place to shovelling and concreting for the next week!

4 thoughts on “Alicante climate has gone south

  1. Olcina made the claim that the climate we experience in the western Mediterranean can no longer be described as “Mediterranean”. It is more accurate now to describe it as “tropical”.

    hmmmm, I’m not sure about that, though of course I’m not much familiar with the climate in Andalucia.

    But I’ve found nothing of the kind in France along the whole coast, nor Catalonia, nor most of Italy — though the climate right at the southern tip of Italy does feel a bit African, as does the vegetation there.

    And tropical climates as such are very wet, which I think is not the case in the Andalucian climate. And whilst the weather can get quite wet along the French Mediterranean, when it does it’s not wet and hot (except rarely in summer), but cooler rains characteristic of continental Europe.

    And the climate in the Maghreb, north of the Atlas range, is classified as a Mediterranean climate.

    OTOH, some oceanographers however have suggested that the Mediterranean itself is starting to gain some tropical characteristics, not just because the waters are warmer than they used to be, but also because some tropical species of plants and animals are starting to spread therein, some of them having been introduced via the Suez Canal, which is also an inflow source of warmer water — whereas prior to its construction, all inflow water was from the Atlantic.


  2. Yes, Jabba, I can see you’re not sure about these things! This is not Andalucia. As clearly stated in this blog over ten years, I live in Alicante which is the Valencia region. (Andalucia is several hundred kilometres south of here.) I know it is unfashionable in some circles these days to distrust experts, but when it comes to local climate, I tend to listen to the local climatology professor. Not the Jabberwok who doesn’t know where Alicante is. 🙂

    BTW, thanks to the Tour de France my knowledge of French geography is quite good. I suggest you follow the Vuelta a España… 😉


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