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Drier weather moves into Spain through midweek

An active weather pattern has provided northern Spain with an abundance of rainfall over the past few days, although it looks like a break is coming to the region, even if only for a short while.

Rain has been unrelenting to the northwestern portion of the Iberian Peninsula, especially near the border of Spain and Portugal. Since the new year has began it has rained every day. There has been multiple days with over 30 mm (1.0 inch) of rain.

In the wake of this weekend's rain, only showers are expected to remain on Monday. By Tuesday, only a few showers or drizzle will linger. In north-central and northeastern Spain, it should be almost completely dry for a majority of the region.

Rainfall was actually needed for the region, so the damp spell is not all negative. The European Drought Observatory was reporting a rainfall deficit for northwest Portugal and far northwestern Spain, and a soil moisture deficit for portions of northwestern Spain in mid-December. Rainfall since that time will likely turn these conditions around.

Unfortunately, the dry spell will be short-lived.

A storm system approaching from the northwest will bring rain back as early as Wednesday afternoon to most of the region. Rain will again become heavy in northwestern Spain and Portugal on Wednesday night.

Rainfall could total between 10-30 mm (0.40 to 1.20 inches) for the northwestern portions of Spain, with a widespread 5 mm (0.20 of an inch) of rainfall well into Portugal and central Spain.

That rain will be the last gasp for much of Europe in terms of the recent storminess. A pattern change is on the way late week into the coming weekend, with high pressure allowing for near- to even below-normal precipitation through the remainder of January.

While northern Spain and Portugal should be ready for a break in the rain, other parts of the Iberian Peninsula will be left out on the rain for the most part this week. The following dry stretch will be a problem for the region.

Barcelona, Spain, has only seen 1 mm (0.05 of an inch) of rain in January as of the 9th of the month. After a quick shot of showers Monday, southern Spain may not see another drop. Normally, Barcelona sees over an inch of rain in the month of January.

The long-range model hints at a dry and warm February and March for the southeastern Spain. This may lead to a developing drought for the region if the models are correct.