Torrevieja has just had its hottest December since records began in 1927 with the province basking in the warmest winter for over 30 years.
Meteorological monitoring group, the Mastral Project, recorded an average temperature of 15.3 degrees Celsius in the city. December 16 was the hottest day of the month with 24 degrees recorded. December was also one of the driest in decades with rainfall around just one litre per square metre. Temperatures continued to soar in 2016 with the Alicante coastline hitting 20 degrees in early January.
Whilst the warm weather has been welcomed by residents and visitors making the most of the beaches, it has also significantly altered the cycle of many crops, such as almonds, which are already in bloom.
Vegetables and citrus fruits are dropping in price, while, according to the Valencian Farmers Association (AVA), lettuce, artichokes and cauliflowers are facing problems as they need lower temperatures to ripen.
AVA warns that a sharp drop in temperatures could be “lethal” for many crops that are blooming earlier than normal, as it could kill them off and result in a bad crop later on.
Jorge Olcina, director of the Laboratory of Climatology at the University of Alicante, said the warm weather occurring has been due to the ‘El Niño’ current from the South Pacific, which affects the entire atmospheric circulation of the planet including the Mediterranean coast.