Andalucía Weather (El Tiempo)

Spring has sprung

By: esteban9, 8:34 AM GMT on March 31, 2010

Today will be the start of an extended fair weather regime that will last at least a week. The only challenge in the forecast will be high temperatures. Despite a chilly start this morning, it should warm rapidly today to near seasonal norms (low 20s in most cities). Skies will be more cloud-free and winds calmer than yesterday, allowing temperatures to exceed those of yesterday by two to three degrees.

So it's a pleasant start for those just starting their Semana Santa holidays.

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Cool and breezy today, but improvement just around the corner...

By: esteban9, 7:48 AM GMT on March 30, 2010

The cold front is exiting Andalucia, leaving in its wake breezy and cool conditions today. Winds will be particularly strong in the eastern half of the area this morning. Some shallow convective clouds will build this afternoon, but these should not generate any measurable precipitation. There will be substantial sunshine between these clouds.

Tomorrow, a ridge of high pressure at the surface aligns itself with the Straits, fostering seasonably warm and sunny conditions for the remainder of the week. Light winds will add to the feeling of warmth. The upper trough and storm track, while still pervasive at our longitude, has definitely receded just enough north so Andalucia is spared the clouds and precipitation of the past winter. This means that Great Britain and France are being lashed with storms now. What a difference with the advent of spring.

I'd like to say a big thanks to my new friends at the Gibraltar weather station for a tour and great hospitality yesterday!

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Weak front on track for tonight

By: esteban9, 7:05 AM GMT on March 29, 2010

Yesterday's outlook looks on target, with little change needed. Today will be slightly warmer than yesterday, with some warm air being pushed up from the southwest ahead of the cold front. It will be breezier this afternoon. The front looks disorganized at present, only generating precipitation in northwest Iberia. This weakness will persist, and I expect to see only widely scattered and light showers with frontal passage tonight (even less precipitation than the last cold front on Friday).

Again, it will be windy tonight with a palpable cooling tomorrow and tomorrow night.

All in all, very favorable weather for Semana Santa...especially given its "notorious" history for rain.

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Another mild day, with a small change tomorrow night

By: esteban9, 8:40 AM GMT on March 28, 2010

There are more high clouds around this morning; otherwise conditions appear similar to yesterday. Temperatures will be about the same, perhaps slightly warmer.

The cyclone that will affect our weather tomorrow night looks disorganized on the satellite imagery and, even with anticipated intensification, it will be too far north and insufficiently strong to have much impact on Andalucia. An associated cold front will pass through from the northwest, increasing low clouds and triggering a few showers. There will be no major accumulation of precipitation. The main change will be an increase in wind and cooler temperatures on Tuesday. The principal cooling will be in the inland areas of northern Andalucia.

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Even fairer today than yesterday

By: esteban9, 8:44 AM GMT on March 27, 2010

The mid-cloud band that dogged the eastern Costa del Sol yesterday has exited, leaving mostly sunny skies over the entire region. Today will be mostly sunny or partly cloudy (the latter mainly in the afternoon). Winds will be light.

After chilly post-frontal conditions yesterday and this morning, temperatures should rebound to near seasonal norms today. High pressure remains in control over the Mediterranean area until late Monday/early Tuesday, when a sharp cold front sweeps in from the northwest. This front may bring a brief dose of precipitation and cooler air, but will be followed by fair weather again.

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Weak cold front sweeping through the area today

By: esteban9, 8:55 AM GMT on March 25, 2010

The main front is near the Portuguese border, and it is only triggering rain at points well to the north of Andalucia. The rain should expand southward to our area as the day progresses, however. Yesterday's forecast looks on target, i.e., a rain band mainly affecting the western provinces during the day, since it will weaken and die by the time it reaches the east this evening. After that, fair weather settles in for several days and the saturated soil of Andalucia dries out a bit.

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Spring has arrived, and a young man's fancy turns to...

By: esteban9, 8:11 AM GMT on March 24, 2010

The upper level jet stream!

The transition between seasons brings out the desire in every self-respecting meteorologist to examine the upper level atmospheric wave pattern for shifts. And I believe that we have seen such a shift. It is subtle - a slight retreat northward of the jet stream, just enough to keep the storm track north of Andalucia (for the most part). This is good news for those holiday makers and sun seekers who have endured a record wet this winter.

Currently, a band of clouds lies over the Costa del Sol, which may trigger a few very light showers. A strong band of convective precipitation extends from Lisbon southwestward, but this activity should stay to the north and west of Andalucia today. The real weather threat arrives tomorrow morning with a cold front extending from the North Atlantic cyclone; this front will traverse the area during the day. Right now, the band of rain associated with this front appears to be weak and will affect mainly the western provinces.

After this frontal passage, a high pressure builds over Iberia and fair weather returns. This anticyclone should dominate our weather through at least the middle of next week. So if you're planning a multi-day outing hoping for sunny and mild weather, Friday would be a good day to start!

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The spaghetti chart, or how I learned to stop worrying and love uncertainty

By: esteban9, 7:24 AM GMT on March 22, 2010

Sometimes I have spoken of using "ensembles" of computer weather models. This refers to either:

1. Several forecasts from the same model, each with slightly different initial conditions (data) fed to the model as input. This results in different forecasts, and the differences increase with greater outlook time (e.g., a 7 day forecast will have much more "spread" in output than a 3 day forecast).

2. Comparing different computer models against each other at the same forecast hour.

One can also compare different "base" runs of the same model to see if it is "stable" in its forecasts over time - the latest model run may not always be the most accurate.

Item 1 is related to chaos theory (or the butterfly flapping its wings in Beijing may cause a tornado in Kansas). This theory was first proposed by a meteorologist, Professor Edward Lorenz of MIT, who was investigating how far into the future we can predict the weather with any accuracy.

Often times a "consensus" of different forecasts (or their average) is more accurate than any single one, especially for longer ranges. That is why I use ensembles for these ranges. However, as an illustration of how much uncertainty there is, even with this process, see this chart, courtesy of Weather Online. This is a plot of different surface isobars (contours of equal pressure) from several models (different color lines) for next Friday at 1200 UTC...it is called a "spaghetti" chart for obvious reasons. Recall that the forecast was for a strong cyclone over the North Atlantic. Look for the closed contours near the British Isles, which would indicate the center of the cyclone (low pressure). Note that several models show such a center, but at different locations and at different intensities (see the numbers indicating millibars on several contours). So, even at this relatively short forecast horizon (120 hours or 5 days), there is considerable disagreement about the cyclone depth and location. And what looks like a small displacement on a map of this scale can make a huge difference in the weather at a particular place (Spain, for our purposes). So, even though models are improving and ensembles are a great tool, they are still far from perfect!

Enough of today's lesson; enjoy the sunny weather today...

Updated: 7:28 AM GMT on March 22, 2010

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Things starting to move out there

By: esteban9, 7:33 AM GMT on March 21, 2010

Yesterday's prediction of rain focusing on the eastern provinces was a good one; in fact the rain rates are greater than anticipated, with Granada reporting heavy rain right now. This rain should continue to focus on the east today, although lesser amounts will likely affect the west. The weak upper level trough will move east of the area overnight, opening the door on benign conditions for the first half of the work week.

Winds will be stronger today than the last two days, generally from the east. It will be cloudy today and mostly sunny tomorrow.

There is consensus on a potent mature cyclone across the North Atlantic by Thursday, which should bring a cold front across Iberia. The question is how far south this cyclone will be...one model has it far enough south to bring us precipitation, but the others do not. For the stormy weather fans out there (are there any left after this winter?), we'll have to wait a while to gain confidence about the answer.

Happy spring equinox!

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Mild but unsettled conditions continue this weekend

By: esteban9, 9:49 AM GMT on March 20, 2010

A long fetch of clouds from the southwest extends over the region, but again there is little organization to this cloud band. A few light showers are seen on radar, but most of the heavier precipitation is well west of southern Portugal. Today's weather should be similar to yesterday, with patches of light showers popping up region-wide, but no major accumulations. There will be some breaks in the clouds, augmenting the warming of light southerly flow.

Although it is forecast to weaken and die, a surface front/trough enters the area tomorrow, and consequently I expect more intense showers. The model precipitation forecasts are "all over the map," but they seem to focus most of the rain on eastern Andalucia. There is a good chance of thunderstorms as well, more likely over mountainous terrain. The precipitation should clear out by Monday.

The next major storm appears delayed until Thursday, and indications are that it will affect mainly northern Spain. So overall, it should be a fairly quiet first week of Spring.

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A sign of spring?

By: esteban9, 4:54 PM GMT on March 19, 2010

The warm southern breezes have, in spite of the clouds, elevated the temperature to 27 degrees in Moron de la Frontera.

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Update and question

By: esteban9, 1:59 PM GMT on March 19, 2010

Lots of holes and thinness to the cloud mass that covers us this afternoon, with almost no showers at all. So there is some good sunshine as a result. Thus, as a colleague once put it, this cloud is "moth eaten."

Does anyone know if the Gibraltar rawinsonde (weather balloon) site is a regularly reporting (i.e., twice per day at 12 and 00 UTC) one? The data have been missing a lot lately...

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Clouds and light showers predominate. A note about mountain weather.

By: esteban9, 7:40 AM GMT on March 19, 2010

As expected, the current focus of precipitation is from central Portugal northward; nevertheless, some light showers are evident in western Andalucia. Although showers are a possibility over most of the area today, the greatest threat will remain in the west. Amounts will be light.

A surface trough and cold front move in late tomorrow night, but this feature is weakening. So while skies will be for the most part cloudy through the weekend, precipitation will again be of the showery variety. The best chance of rain will be early Sunday, with some clearing by evening. Temperatures will remain seasonal and winds light, but the clouds will make it seem a bit chillier.

The first half of next week looks mostly fair, but a significant area of low pressure appears in the queue for Wednesday.

Driving around Malaga and Cadiz provinces recently, I was dramatically reminded that the mountains there form their own clouds. Under Levante (easterly) winds, the upwind (eastern flanks) of the ridges were cloudy, while the downwind flanks were clear. This upslope/downslope flow is very localized and is "below the radar" of the larger (synoptic) scale for which most of my forecasts are suited. So bear this in mind when in the mountainous areas of Andalucia!

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Some chinks in the fair weather armour, but it's still protecting the region

By: esteban9, 10:10 AM GMT on March 18, 2010

A cloud band is draped from north to south across central Spain this morning, and it is triggering a few light showers in Eastern Malaga and western Granada provinces. This band is moving to the east and precipitation should decrease to very isolated coverage this afternoon. However, it looks like clouds will increase through the weekend, even if they are mostly at middle and high levels today and tomorrow.

The models continue to ward off significant rain from the area until late Saturday, and the Murcia sounding shows a mostly dry atmosphere now. However, with continuing strong southerly winds, moisture will increase at low levels and I expect to see scattered showers tomorrow across Andalucia. These winds will also maintain slightly-above-average warmth today and tomorrow.

It appears that after the brief bout with rain this weekend, high pressure returns, along with fair weather for the early part of next week.

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Some chinks in the fair weather armour, but it's still protecting the region

By: esteban9, 10:09 AM GMT on March 18, 2010

A cloud band is draped from north to south across central Spain this morning, and it is triggering a few light showers in Eastern Malaga and western Granada provinces. This band is moving to the east and precipitation should decrease to very isolated coverage this afternoon. However, it looks like clouds will increase through the weekend, even if they are mostly at middle and high levels today and tomorrow.

The models continue to ward off significant rain from the area until late Saturday, and the Murcia sounding shows a mostly dry atmosphere now. However, with continuing strong southerly winds, moisture will increase at low levels and I expect to see scattered showers tomorrow across Andalucia. These winds will also maintain slightly-above-average warmth today and tomorrow.

It appears that after the brief bout with rain this weekend, high pressure returns, along with fair weather for the early part of next week.

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Anticyclone and fair weather holding on

By: esteban9, 6:32 AM GMT on March 17, 2010

It looks like the models were correct in keeping the anticyclone strong enough to keep storms away until this weekend. A storm tomorrow and another Friday/Saturday will be shunted just far enough north to keep us precipitation-free until early Sunday, and even on that day the precipitation looks light. Until then, southerly flow will keep Andalucia seasonably warm. Today and tomorrow look sunny to partly cloudy, while Friday clouds start dominating.

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I am looking for work

By: esteban9, 1:39 AM GMT on March 15, 2010

As mentioned in my updated profile, I am seeking work (in Spain or Portugal). During la crisis, it's hard to find employment in Iberia, especially for those within specialized fields like meteorology/hydrology. However, I have 30+ years of broad experience in those fields, so it's worth a shot. If anyone out there knows of any opportunities, even part time, please leave a comment for me with contact info, or email me. Much obliged! My CV is here.

PS - a healthy Levante in the Strait today - 30 knots right now. Otherwise, some high clouds in the west and a little warmer today all areas (but breezier).

Updated: 9:17 AM GMT on March 15, 2010

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Excellent review of the record wetness in Andalucia this winter

By: esteban9, 7:57 AM GMT on March 14, 2010

For our Spanish-capable readers, I refer you to the excellent blog entry of Jose Maldonado, on 12 March. Therein he puts the Andalucia-wide precipitation amounts in the perspective of mean and maximum climatological values, and its hydrologic results (a saturated soil, dams releasing water and flooding, etc.). I made a comment on this blog as well (in Spanish). We have indeed lived through a historic event (whether it's to your interest or chagrin!)

Updated: 7:41 AM GMT on March 15, 2010

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All clear except for the east today

By: esteban9, 7:38 AM GMT on March 14, 2010

Just some patchy fog, mostly in the low-lying areas this morning. Temperatures should be similar to yesterday. The models show a tiny spot of precipitation in the eastern half of Andalucia today; I think this is overdone, and if there are more than trace amounts, it will be in the mountains. Nonetheless, there should be partly to mostly cloudy skies in the east this afternoon, as surface heating generates some shallow convective clouds. The remainder of the province should again enjoy mostly sunny skies.

The models have come around to shunting the midweek cyclone well to our north, so that its trailing cold front will have little impact on our area other than some increased clouds. But the models also have accelerated the cyclone track for later in the week, bringing in a potent storm to Iberia on Friday. There is discord as to how far south this cyclone will be, however; if the anticyclone maintains its strength the cyclone will largely impact the north of Spain. One may prefer to enjoy the fair weather during the upcoming week and not think that far ahead. To each his/her own!

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Another cool and sunny day

By: esteban9, 7:05 AM GMT on March 13, 2010

Some fog and low clouds exist over the northeast part of Andalucia this morning, but these should burn off quickly to join the rest of the region with mostly sunny skies. Temperatures will be again on the cool side, but winds will be light so conditions will be pleasant for outdoor activities.

Only one model is holding on to a significant cold front for midweek; the rest show the front and associated cyclone riding over the top of our "protector" anticyclone, well to our north. So my "keeping to my guns" per yesterday's blog appears to have been correct. In fact, the anticyclone may even hold out through next weekend. So it looks like you sun worshipers will be in your element this week!

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The fine weather commences in earnest

By: esteban9, 7:31 AM GMT on March 12, 2010

The precipitation overnight was even lighter than expected, except possibly around Almeria, where it is still raining moderately. The GFS model had pegged this location well.

Skies have cleared in the west, and the east should see the same by this afternoon. Temperatures will be cool but winds should ease this afternoon, so it will feel relatively warm.

What about the "party crasher" storm for the middle of next week? Well, the models are still undecided, but the best guess is that a cold front will come through late Tuesday through Wednesday, but its parent cyclone will be well to the north, so the weather effects on Andalucia may be a minor "fly in the ointment" of an otherwise pleasant week. The next storm, for the weekend following (20-21 March) looks like it will track farther south, but we will wait to gain more confidence about that.

Updated: 7:38 AM GMT on March 12, 2010

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Last gasp of rain approacheth, but a surprise next week?

By: esteban9, 12:10 PM GMT on March 11, 2010

A well defined but weak cloud band with associated warm front is just making landfall in southwest Iberia, accompanied by some isolated and light showers. This precipitation will increase in coverage and affect mainly the southern half of Andalucia overnight. Again, accumulations will be light, with maxima probably around 10-15 mm in the high terrain near the Cadiz/Malaga provincial border. The clouds and rain should clear from west to east in the morning, with the east clearing after mid-day.

Checking on the longer-range models, two of the three are now suggesting a "party crasher" storm next Wednesday the 17th. One of those two show the storm affecting us, but with light precipitation; the other shows it traversing northern Spain only. The third model shows the anticyclone holding fast and no storm at all (as foreseen the last couple days). I will stick to my guns for now and maintain fair weather through the entire week, since the models can change back and forth at this early stage. Suffice to say, however, that there are hints of kinks in next week's armor. Given the pattern this winter, it's not something to dismiss lightly. Stay tuned.

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Is anyone out there?

By: esteban9, 5:45 PM GMT on March 10, 2010

Now that we are upon the threshold of a quiet weather period, I'd like to ask - is anyone reading this blog? If so, please leave a comment - I'd love to hear from you!
Esteban

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Fair and bright today, a little less so tomorrow

By: esteban9, 8:17 AM GMT on March 10, 2010

A chilly start this morning (-2C at Granada and Jaén) will give way to abundant sunshine and moderate temperatures this afternoon. The main difference between yesterday and today however, will be the winds. Much lighter winds today will make it feel warmer.

The next disturbance continues to appear weak, both on the current satellite image and in the model forecasts. Nevertheless, this system will increase cloudiness tomorrow afternoon and light showers should commence around midnight tomorrow. The system will exit the area midday Friday.

After that, as mentioned the last couple days, a large anticyclone dominates our weather for an extended period. This will bring warm and sunny conditions for about a week, possibly more. It's too early to tell if this anticyclone will park itself to our west and be sufficiently strong to block storms beyond that period. I'm sure that many sun worshipers hope so!

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Chilly air infiltrating today, but rain clearing out

By: esteban9, 7:35 AM GMT on March 09, 2010

The cold front that triggered the light precipitation overnight has sagged into the Straits area, meaning that cool air covers all of Iberia. This cooling will be offset in most of Andalucia this afternoon and tomorrow by sunshine, but the next two nights will see sub-freezing temperatures in many inland spots. A few showers linger in the Gibraltar and Almeria areas but these should dissipate this morning.

As treated yesterday, the next weak cyclone enters the area late Thursday, but only one model shows it having much affect on the area. Several solutions carry the system to our south, which means that we will have clouds but little rain. An update tomorrow should be more certain on this disturbance.

After that, the warming and drying begins. Looking at the long-range models, it appears that the upper level ridge will only block incoming storms for about a week, as its associated anticyclone retreats eastward again over the continent by the weekend after next. This would yet again open the door to the dominant low-level storm track at low latitudes, including Iberia. Well, if that turns out to be the case, make plans now to enjoy a mostly fair and warm week next. After what we've been through, we'll certainly take one such week!

Updated: 7:39 AM GMT on March 09, 2010

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Coastal rain this evening and a light at the end of the tunnel?

By: esteban9, 8:44 AM GMT on March 08, 2010

A cyclone over the Balearic islands will trail a front/trough across the Costa del Sol this evening, triggering widespread rain over Andalucia. As discussed yesterday, the focus of this rain will be over the coast (maxima near Malaga), but inland areas will not escape. The cyclone moves rapidly eastward, however, so the front and precipitation should largely end by tomorrow morning except for a few showers along the Costa del Sol. Inland areas will see clearing skies during the day tomorrow.

The next rain is advertised for Thursday, but there is disparity between the models as to the timing of its arrival. But all suggestions are that it will be weaker than tonight's event. And this weakening of low pressure apparently heralds the bigger story, to which I alluded yesterday - a change in our long-period weather pattern. I see more white in the eyes now, and it means good news for those weary of the record rainy period. The major anticyclone over Great Britain retrogrades (migrates westward) and, more importantly, expands southward. This means that the anticyclone will be sufficiently far south so as to block the cyclones that have been transiting underneath it and striking Iberia for months. It is too early to say whether the upper-level ridge associated with this anticyclone will become a "blocking ridge," a long-term feature that would keep our weather fair and dry for several weeks. The intensity and reach of the anticyclone are sufficient, but we'll have to wait and see about the persistence.

Such persistence runs counter to the climatology; e.g., Seville's second rainiest month (after December) is April. But this appears to be a year in which one may toss the climatology! If the pattern does change, a lovely spring will arrive in Andalucia, so that we may enjoy the green hills borne of a record wet winter. Stay tuned, dear readers!

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Lingering showers today

By: esteban9, 8:17 AM GMT on March 07, 2010

Most of the area remains covered with stratus and low clouds today, which should break up toward midday, leading to more sunshine than yesterday. Nevertheless, there are a few light showers in the west and these will persist in local areas today, as the Gibraltar sounding shows a saturated atmosphere to 3 km depth with easterly flow. Accumulations should not approach yesterday's soaking of the West, however. Tomorrow looks like it will be mostly precipitation-free but cloudy.

The extensive anticyclone mentioned yesterday over the British Isles (currently centered over the North Sea) has set up shop. This feature will expand eastward and provide mostly fair weather over the most of the continent this week, EXCEPT the Mediterranean region, where varying intensities of low pressure will persist. For Spain, the intensity of the low pressure systems will be weak, mainly fronts without much lifting potential. This means that we will not have major storms but rather chillier air and periods of showers. This is good news for the hydrologic situation, but less welcome to those wishing clear blue skies and warm temperatures.

The first such frontal system converges on the Straits area very late Monday night. The specific position of the front will determine how much rain Andalucia will get, but initial appearances suggest that the coasts will see much more than inland areas. Cooler air will usher in behind the cold front during the day on Tuesday, but this may be offset by mostly sunny skies. This fair weather continues through Wednesday, but another weak low pressure system strikes early Thursday, bringing showers that continue into Friday. After this disturbance moves out, there is the promise of a mostly sunny weekend.

For the following week - as to the change in our weather pattern discussed yesterday, namely to a less stormy one, there seems to be increasing doubt. But at this long forecast horizon, it's still a possibility. Let's wait to see the "whites of the eyes."

Updated: 8:21 AM GMT on March 07, 2010

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Another day of rain for the west

By: esteban9, 8:09 AM GMT on March 06, 2010

The western half of Andalucia experienced widespread thunderstorms overnight, bringing over 25 mm to the sierra north of Seville. The Gibraltar sounding shows deep moisture and an unstable air mass in place, which will support deep convective clouds. Therefore, the same western area faces more strong thunderstorms and bands of rain today. The models and satellite pictures indicate that the focus of the rain will be along the Costa de la Luz, particularly the sierra of eastern Cadiz province. There, maximum amounts could be around 50 mm.

The rain eases overnight, so tomorrow will see more sunshine but lingering, scattered showers during the day. The models depict areas of precipitation moving through the Straits area late Monday night and Thursday, but the trend this week is away from heavy precipitation and toward increasing high pressure, so much so that Friday may mark the beginning of an extended fair weather period. Indeed, the GFS model shows a major anticyclone to our west this weekend, for the first time in months. This high would block the lower-latitude storms that have been affecting us every 1-2 days; the GFS shows a cyclone moving over the top of this anticyclone, from out of the northwest, on Monday the 15th. While this cyclone would also bring rain to Spain, it could represent a shift in the upper tropospheric long-wave wet pattern of the last 2 1/2 months. One model, however, the ECMWF, disagrees, indicating another major cyclone directly to our west, in a continuation of this winter's ensconced pattern. It will be interesting to see which model solution is correct, as I'm sure many people are hoping for a sunny and dry period.

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A wee bit o' sunshine (for a little while)!

By: esteban9, 8:33 AM GMT on March 04, 2010

The stratus has dissipated and all that remains are some wave clouds near the mountains. Should be light winds and partly cloudy today, with some widely scattered showers. Soak up all the sun you can if you're tired of the rain and clouds, because they return tomorrow for a stay through the weekend. Now the models are suggesting there will be no break on Sunday and we'll go into another rainy period straightaway on Monday.

Ay ay ay!

Updated: 8:41 AM GMT on March 04, 2010

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And the winner of the rain sweepstakes yesterday is...

By: esteban9, 9:05 AM GMT on March 03, 2010

Malaga, with 40.9 mm. But, as forecast, Almeria province did finally get substantial rains, with the city of Almeria receiving 23 mm. For once, the western provinces were less wet, but Seville still got 19.3, Cordoba 14.7, and Gibraltar 14.9; still significant rainfall area-wide.

Today looks like the forecast is again on target, although the western provinces will return to prominence as the primary recipient of additional precipitation. Well-organized bands of cold-air convection are striking Portugal now, and this disturbed area will trek over the west this afternoon, with instability augmented by surface heating (last night's Gibraltar sounding already showed deep moisture and instability). Expect high rainfall rates in these bands...with maximum amounts approaching 40 mm by midnight, when most of the precipitation shuts off.

A break tomorrow before the next storm moves in Friday afternoon/evening. This storm should affect the region through the day Saturday, with lingering affects possibly on Sunday. It's hard to get a fair and sunny weekend in its entirety these days.

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Rain for all Andalucia this evening?

By: esteban9, 8:12 AM GMT on March 02, 2010

Major closed low is spinning well to the west of Iberia this morning. In its warm sector, considerable mid-level cloudiness has arrived from the south, but low-level conditions are still dry so no precip is evident anywhere. This will begin to change late afternoon/early evening as the cloud thicken and a cold front approaches from the southwest.

The models are still showing two low pressure centers, the one to our west and another developing near the Balearic islands tomorrow morning. The latter eventually becomes the dominant one and is the reason for the rain forecast over eastern Andalucia. Since the "center of gravity" of both lows is over Spain, however, the western half will again see significant rains. Overall, while precipitation intensities appear light, the duration will be long - through tomorrow afternoon.

Well, looking on the bright side, temperatures will again be seasonal with this event; we haven't seen the numerous outbreaks of cold like last winter.

Updated: 8:15 AM GMT on March 02, 2010

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Rain for all Andalucia this evening?

By: esteban9, 8:11 AM GMT on March 02, 2010

Major closed low is spinning well to the west of Iberia this morning. In its warm sector, considerable mid-level cloudiness has arrived from the south, but low-level conditions are still dry so no precip is evident anywhere. This will begin to change late afternoon/early evening as the cloud thicken and a cold front approaches from the southwest.

The models are still showing two low pressure centers, the one to our west and another developing near the Balearic islands tomorrow morning. The latter eventually becomes the dominant one and is the reason for the rain forecast over eastern Andalucia. Since the "center of gravity" of both lows is over Spain, however, the western half will again see significant rains.

Well, looking on the bright side, temperatures will again be seasonal with this event; we haven't seen the numerous outbreaks of cold like last winter.

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Fine weather today...return to "normal" tomorrow

By: esteban9, 8:00 AM GMT on March 01, 2010

Yesterday's band of rain came through last evening and, while the mean AREAL precipitation was light, the geographic distribution was uneven. This is characteristic of convective clouds - the lightning data showed healthy thunderstorms at the leading edge of the band, which were most vigorous in southwest Andalucia. To wit, Seville received 5.3 mm, Algeciras 7.1, while the remaining principal cities of the community received less than 2.

An unusually fair, warm and sunny day today for all of Andalucia. The models are still bringing in the next rain tomorrow afternoon, widespread across the area. But the complex surface pressure pattern is causing some disagreement as to the distribution and quantity of the precipitation. My best guess is that precipitation will be at least showery from tomorrow afternoon through most of the day on Wednesday. Will revisit the forecast tomorrow morning to see if the progs show more focus on the precipitation solution.

After the midweek event, an interesting pattern sets up. A quasi-stationary strong anticyclone parks over the British Isles, which persists through next weekend. Pleasant weather for them, but the train of storms undercuts this anticyclone to its south - which means that Iberia continues to be in a wet pattern through the week. Indeed, there seems to be no break for us this winter.

Updated: 8:02 AM GMT on March 01, 2010

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About esteban9

Musings and forecasts of Andalusian weather and climate, from a veteran meteorologist.