The mystery of Torrevieja's microclimate.
With a semi-desert climate – around 280 liters per square meter of rain and 325 of sunshine on average per year – it is normal for Torrevejenses to point to the sheets of hypersaline water of their lagoons, with 2,100 hectares, next to the sea, as the origin of their "microclimate". A supposed meteorological anomaly without scientific endorsement. Useful both for builders to have sold houses in the last 40 years wielding this unproven uniqueness, and very practical to explain situations in which the showers that arrive directly to the city are diluted like a sugar.
The Councilor for the Environment, Fanny Serrano, the manager of Agamed, José Manuel Nadal, and Ruben Torregrosa and Pablo Samper, from Proyecto Mastral, presented yesterday a climatological study project with which it is intended to clear the mystery of that influence of the salt flats: the climate of the Natural Park of the Lagunas de La Mata and Torrevieja. Television Torrevieja and the Natural Park itself also collaborate. Torregrosa, from Proyecto Mastral, explained that "popular belief has attributed to the lagoons the particular microclimate of Torrevieja and La Mata, although it is something that has not yet been studied." And he added that "with the implementation of this project begins a collection of data in different parts of the natural park to observe differences and to be able to offer in the future data with which to establish the influence or not of these two large areas of water in the climate of Torrevieja".
For this, there is the information provided by a total of six weather stations located in the center of the city, in the area of Aguas Nuevas, another in the Interpretation Center of the Natural Park, another at the southern end of the Torrevieja lagoon, next to Los Balcones, another at the northwest end of the same lagoon, already in the municipality of Los Montesinos and another in the Chaparral that naturally separates the two lagoons.
Torregrosa clarified that to offer "serious and contrasted" data of a study of this type requires a long period of time: "Five or ten years to start intuiting data, but to be able to make an analysis in conditions we must wait a minimum of 30 years".
This has not prevented first impressions from being made at a very preliminary level of data that were not known. "In these first months of testing, the park station has registered significant differences, especially in precipitation values with those registered in Torrevieja. For example, on November 19, just over 100 liters per square meter fell in Torrevieja in a few hours, while in the park area barely exceeded 25 liters. Something similar is happening with minimum temperatures. The new station of Los Balcones, located next to the southern shore of the Torrevieja lagoon registered 0.6 degrees on January 12 when in the rest the thermometer did not fall below 3.5 degrees. Differences that have occurred in other cold days. A quick explanation for this phenomenon, which requires much more verifiable data, is that this area of the term is located below sea level, in a trough, which in periods of winter stability would "concentrate" the cold.
All the information of the project will be visible on the website of Proyecto Mastral and also on a screen that will be installed in the Interpretation Center of the Natural Park, so that "any visitor will be able to see in real time the weather situation at the time of their visit to the park". The initiative also has a webcam that shows images of the surroundings of the lagoon of La Mata and a manual rain gauge that offers data for the State Meteorological Agency.
Pablo Samper indicated, for his part, that "perhaps it is the most exciting project in these 9 years and that the collaboration with Agamed is being very productive, increasing our data network and new stations and collaborating with them, some of them already giving surprising data". Serrano thanked Proyecto Mastral "for the commendable work they do", while explaining that "what is going to be done is a detailed and scientifically based study to offer more and better information about the climate of our Natural Park".
The manager of Agamed, José Manuel Nadal, explained that "this type of initiatives are included in the collaboration agreement with the Department of Environment that was signed a year ago" and that "one of the initiatives that we saw clearer was precisely to give contrasted and scientifically based data of the weather in Torrevieja, and that is why for two years we have been collaborating with Proyecto Mastral".
Torregrosa clarified that in the city there is a contrasted series of daily meteorological data, linked to the salt activity since the late 20s of the last century: rain, wind and temperature of the air and water of the lagoons are variables that directly affect the production of salt. These data mean that it rains the same as a century ago but there is a gradual increase in the average annual temperature.