Spain: Murcia hit by frosts

The polar air has been causing some problems in Murcia. The State Agency of Meteorology (Aemet) issued a yellow warning for the regions of the Altiplano and Noroeste, where temperatures dropped as low as -4 degrees Celsius between 3 in the morning and 9 in the morning last Thursday. Luis Bañón, from the AEMET, had learned of even lower temperatures for the weekend.

February's cold wave has not broken any records yet, but it will last until next Sunday morning and Luis Bañón, of AEMET, warns that "the accumulation of hours with sub-zero temperatures could cause damage to agricultural crops." In Cieza, as a preventive measure, producers have stopped the thinning tasks which had started a few days ago.

If the sub-zero temperatures are recorded for several consecutive nights, "60% to 70% of the harvest of extra-early varieties that are in bloom could be affected," said Manuel Martínez, president of Coag Cieza.

"This would mean losing 10% of the total fruit production in Cieza planned for this season and thousands of pickers' jobs." Nectarine and peach trees are the most at risk and some producers have already adopted measures, such as burning paraffin drums or straw and pressed corn at sunrise, so that the heat can help prevent the loss of open flowers.

Cauliflower, lettuce, broccoli, artichokes, lemons and oranges are the crops that will be most exposed to the temperature drops in Guadalentín.


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