Andalusia - some facts
Andalusia (/??nd??lu?si?? -zi?? -???/; Spanish: Andalucía andalu??i.a, -si.a) is a south-western European region established as an autonomous community of the Kingdom of Spain. It is the most populated and the second largest in area of the autonomous communities in Spain. The Andalusian autonomous community is officially recognised as a nationality of Spain.4 The territory is divided into eight provinces: Almería, Cádiz, Córdoba, Granada, Huelva, Jaén, Málaga and Seville. Its capital is the city of Seville (Spanish: Sevilla).
Andalusia is in the south of the Iberian peninsula, immediately south of the autonomous communities of Extremadura and Castile?La Mancha; west of the autonomous community of Murcia and the Mediterranean Sea; east of Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean; and north of the Mediterranean Sea and the Strait of Gibraltar. Andalusia is the only European region with both Mediterranean and Atlantic coastlines. The small British overseas territory of Gibraltar shares a three-quarter-mile land border with the Andalusian province of Cádiz at the eastern end of the Strait of Gibraltar.
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Climate in Andalusia
Andalusia sits at a latitude between 36° and 38° 44' N, in the warm-temperate region. In general, it experiences a Mediterranean climate, with dry summers influenced by the Azores High, but subject to occasional torrential rains and extremely hot temperatures.2728 In the winter, the tropical anticyclones move south, allowing cold polar fronts to penetrate the region. Still, within Andalusia there is considerable climatic variety. From the extensive coastal plains one may pass to the valley of the Guadalquivir, barely above sea level, then to the highest altitudes in the Iberian peninsula in the peaks of the Sierra Nevada. In a mere 50 km (31 mi) one can pass from the subtropical coast of the province of Granada to the snowy peaks of Mulhacén. Andalusia also includes both the dry Tabernas Desert in the province of Almería and the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park in the province of Cádiz, which experiences Spain's greatest rainfall.29303132
Annual rainfall in the Sierra de Grazalema has been measured as high as 4,346 millimetres (171.1 in) in 1963, the highest ever recorded for any location in Iberia.33 Andalusia is also home to the driest place in continental Europe, the Cabo de Gata, with only 117 millimetres (4.6 in) of rain per year.
In general, as one goes from west to east, away from the Atlantic, there is less precipitation.33 "Wet Andalusia" includes most of the highest points in the region, above all the Sierra de Grazalema but also the Serranía de Ronda in western Málaga. The valley of the Guadalquivir has moderate rainfall. The Tabernas Desert in Almería, Europe's only true desert, has less than 75 days with any measurable precipitation, and some particular places in the desert have as few as 50 such days. Much of "dry Andalusia" has more than 300 "sunny" days a year.
The average temperature in Andalusia throughout the year is over 16 °C (61 °F). Averages in the cities range from 15.1 °C (59.2 °F) in Baeza to 19.1 °C (66.4 °F) in Almería.34 Much of the Guadalquivir valley and the Mediterranean coast has an average of about 18 °C (64 °F). The coldest month is January when Granada at the foot of the Sierra Nevada experiences an average temperature of 6.4 °C (43.5 °F). The hottest are July and August, with an average temperature of 28.5 °C (83.3 °F) for Andalusia as a whole. Córdoba is the hottest provincial capital, followed by Seville.35