Thursday 6th October 2022 – Mike Smith
Sources: AEMET / University of Alicante
The state meteorological agency AEMET has extended its YELLOW alert risk warning for the potential for heavy rain and thunderstorms, which has been active since yesterday morning, to 6.00pm tomorrow Friday 7th October.
AEMET advises that there is a 40%-70% probability that the Marina Alta region could see periods of intense rainfall with precipitation rates of 30mm in one hour possible and occasionally up to 40mm in one hour. In addition, the rainfall could be accompanied by thunderstorms. This risk continues throughout tonight and into tomorrow Friday until the early evening.
It should be noted that AEMET have issued an orange alert for the southern parts of the Province of Valencia, including Gandía, Cullera and Alzira, where the rainfall could be even more intense at times, as much as 100mm falling in 12 hours.
It should be remembered that these weather alerts cover large areas – in our case, all of the Marina Alta and El Comtat as well as the northern part of L’Alcoià, much of it quite mountainous – and in his daily forecast for the town this morning, MeteoXàbia‘s Toni Bolufer, warns that, whilst the rain will not be general, there remains a risk of “irregular rain” where it could rain heavily anywhere and other places will not see a drop. “We are dealing with a typical episode of rain especially in the centre of the Gulf of Valencia and more in the coastal areas; it is not the best situation for us, but you can never rule out anything in these cases”.
The Climatology Department at the University of Alicante confirms the DANA – “gota fría” – was centred on the north of Algeria and has been rotating cyclonically to advance towards the eastern seaboard of Spain, adding that “the current situation should not be trusted, since probably between now and Friday, it will grow to produce locally very intense downpours, but of an irregular nature”.
They have also issued a reminder that a “gota fría” is simply a pocket of cold air at height and that it is a mistake to use this term as a synonym for torrential rain. Not all “gota frías” cause torrential rains, nor are all intense rains associated with them.
Note: The alert doesn’t mean that these conditions are definitely going to affect us here in Xàbia but that the models are showing that there is a good chance that they may do so so it’s best to be prepared.
Prepare for the Worst
- Check guttering and drains. They should be clear of leaves and other debris to allow the rainwater to flow away easily. Take a look at the drains in the street in front of your property. It’s the council’s job to keep them clear but checking them yourself before the arrival of heavy rain can help protect your home.
- Prepare the terrace and garden. Cover up and secure patio furniture. Bring in anything that is likely to be blown around the garden and cause damage.
- Protect valuables. If you live in an area that is liable to flooding, you might want to consider gathering together any valuable or sentimental items and store them in a safe area of the house – not the basement – during the periods of heavy rain. Just in case. Material items can be replaced, memories can’t.
- Avoid driving. During periods of heavy rain, it is best to stay put, wherever you are, and avoid driving in low-lying areas and zones where water is likely to collect. Don’t attempt to cross the river if the water is flowing as it may be deeper and stronger than it appears; it only takes a few centimetres of fast flowing water to dislodge a vehicle. If the heavy rain causes poor visibility whilst driving, stop and wait until it passes.