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ONIRIA MULTIMEDIA

The whole Reserve is clearly situated within the zone of Mediterranean climate, meaning that the basic features of this type of climate are present throughout the whole territory.

The annual cycle commences with a mild Autumn in which, as the season advances, the rain becomes more frequent. In December, with the approach of Winter, the coldest months, January and February, begin, and these, together with March, are usually the rainiest and therefore, when there is more likely to be snow. From then on, with the arrival of Spring, the temperatures start to rise and the rain becomes less frequent and less abundant. Summer, practically dry, reaches its maximum temperatures in the months of July and August.

Nevertheless, and falling under the general features of the Mediterranean climate, the presence of three essential factors, which are the latitude, the influence of the nearby Mediterranean and the Atlantic Ocean, and the steep gradient of altitude in the mountains, means, as a consequence, that many variations in this type of climate take place, particularly with respect to the temperatures throughout the course of the year and the abundance of the rainfall.

In the first aspect, i.e. the temperatures, the altitude and the greater or lesser influence of the sea, cause noticeable differences depending on the area. In the southern part of the Reserve, which is closest to the Costa el Sol, and the area facing towards the Guadalhorce Valley, the low altitude and the stabilizing effect of the sea produce mild temperatures that make it possible to enjoy pleasant winters and not excessively hot summers. At the same time, there are the northern and north-eastern sectors where, although the altitude is not much greater, the mountainous barrier created by the Sierra does not allow the marine influence to have any effect, meaning there is a marked Continental effect that gives rise to severer winters, including early morning frost during the coldest months, and hot summers. Lastly, in the central zone of the Reserve, where the great mountain massifs are located, the effect of the altitude predominates, and also the effect of the Continental climate. This means that winters are harsh, with average temperatures that do not go above 10º, and freezing snowfall and blizzards. Summers are usually hot, due to the high level of solar radiation, although it cools off considerably at night.

As for the rainfall, the principal factors that condition this are orientation and, once again, altitude. Although the distribution of rainfall is very irregular throughout the year, the whole area can be considered as being rainy. This is because the Atlantic fronts that penetrate from the west, from the nearby Straits of Gibraltar, have barely been able to find altitudes before arriving here, where they can discharge their high level of humidity. For this reason, the slopes and peaks of the western section of the Reserve are where the highest rainfall levels are recorded, decreasing in intensity as we travel eastwards across the district. This means that the average annual rainfall ranges from more than1,800 l/m2 that is reached in the areas close to Torrecilla to the somewhat more than 600 l/m2 in the lower parts of the countryside around Guaro.
 

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Association for the Rural Development of Sierra de las Nieves

Edificio Sierra de las Nieves, Paraje de Río Grande-Las Millanas, s/n - 29109- Tolox (Málaga) - Phone: 952 48 28 21 - Fax: 952 48 29 44

Email: agdr@sierranieves.com