Spain Has Third-Wettest Autumn Since 2000 After Drought

Spain had its third-wettest autumn this century, with rainfall 43 percent higher than normal in the period from September through November, the Agriculture Ministry’s weather service reported.

Spain on average received 265 millimeters (10.4 inches) of rain in the three-month period, with only 2003 and 2006 getting more rain in the three months in the past 12 years, the ministry wrote in a report on its website today.

The wet weather brought relief from Spain’s second-driest summer in 60 years. The country’s wheat crop fell 26 percent this year on the drought, while olive-oil production plunged 58 percent, based on government estimates.

“The three autumn months were wet,” the ministry wrote. “As the season progressed the positive anomaly of rainfall became more noticeable, so while in September average monthly rainfall exceeded normal values by 35 percent, in October it was 40 percent and for November around 50 percent.”

Most of Andalusia, which accounts for more than 60 percent of Spain’s durum wheat area, received more than twice the usual amount of rain for the period, the data show.

The south of Castile-La Mancha got more than double usual rainfall, while the north got 25 percent to 100 percent more, based on the report. The region made up about 17 percent of Spain’s soft wheat area and 30 percent of barley planting this year, according to Cooperatives Agro-Alimentarias.

Most of Castile and Leon, the country’s biggest grain-growing region with 45 percent of soft-wheat acreage in 2012 and 41 percent of barley, had rainfall that was normal to 50 percent above usual values. The northwest of the region was drier than normal, while the central west was wetter.

Temperatures in Spain were an average 16 degrees Celsius (60.8 degrees Fahrenheit) in the three-month period, 0.5 degree above normal, the ministry wrote.

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