It’s been a wet April across the Iberian Peninsula, and that trend will continue through this weekend as two more storm systems take aim at southwestern Europe.
The first storm will skirt from south to north along the western Iberian coast toward the Bay of Biscay into Friday.
The heavier rain and delays will shift to eastern Spain later in the weekend as another area of low pressure moves from northern Africa into the western Mediterranean.
Areas outside of the heaviest rain will still have cool and showery weather to contend with.
“Even while the steadiest rain focused on western Spain and Portugal Thursday into Thursday night, central and eastern Spain will still have damp and showery weather to contend with and vice versa once the heavier rain reaches western Spain during the weekend,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Rob Richards said.
This will add to rainfall totals that, in spots, are already above average for the whole month of April, let alone just halfway through.
As of Wednesday, Madrid has received 36 mm (1.42 inches) of rainfall so far in April, which is 79% of their normal rainfall for the whole month. The normal amount in Madrid for the month of April is 45 mm (1.79 inches). The additional rainfall expected could allow Madrid to reach its normal total for the month by the end of the weekend.
Barcelona and Lisbon are two locations that have already surpassed their normal April rainfall totals. Barcelona has received 48 mm (1.90 inches) which is 115% of normal for April. Lisbon has already picked up 103 mm (4.06 inches), which is 191% of normal for the month.
While there can be localized flooding from heavier downpours, especially given the already damp antecedent conditions, widespread flooding is not expected to be a significant threat.
Instead, the continuing of the rainy pattern can lead to impacts such as delays in crop planting and disruptions to those trying to get outside for walks and other forms of exercise.
This comes as Spain begins to ease restrictions amid the COVID-19 lockdown, allowing some workers in industries such as construction to return to work. The continued rainy pattern could make it difficult for some outdoor projects to get started again.
Spring agriculture is also being impacted, and that’s brought a mixture of positive and negative expectations.
“The rain will maintain good moisture levels for reproductive winter wheat and barley, and cotton and rice planting should be done, so the rain will maintain favorable moisture levels for these crops as well,” said AccuWeather Senior Long-Range Meteorologist Jason Nicholls.
“On the other hand, the wet weather will likely lead to delays in corn and sunflower seed planting,” Nicholls added.
The impacts of the wet pattern could even extend into the summer. “The persistent rain will likely at least delay the onset of wildfire season, especially in the northeast,” explained AccuWeather Meteorologist Tyler Roys.
“The rain can be a double-edged sword, though,” added Nicholls. “If it turns too dry in the summer, then all of the extra growth caused by the spring rain can become extra fuel for wildfires.”
So how long will the wet weather last? “The pattern looks to stay wet and unsettled through at least the end of April,” Roys said. “As the calendar turns to May, we will start to see a drying trend, but it will likely be gradual.”