On opening the window, a slightly chilly northwest wind will be noticed to otherwise spoil a glorious start to another day in Andalucia.
The temperature is probably around 11 Celsius (52F), and rising rapidly with the distant outline of the mountains showing clearly in the clean Spring air.
A few flecks of cloud develop during the morning, especially over the hills, and then at 11 o’clock the first signs of a sea breeze begin to stir along the beaches.
By midday, or soon after, a strong southeast wind is blowing in from the sea, and holidaymakers, intent on a day at the seaside, take cover in promenade cafes as the sand is whipped into eddies by the strengthening wind.
During the afternoon, the wind veers round to the southwest, and as the white horses increase and the waves regularly crash down, the last of the tourists flee the uninviting beach.
The temperature at the beach on a windy April afternoon may be no more than 15 Celsius (59F) but the sun continues to shine. A glance inland often reveals a build up of shower clouds , and over the hills and mountains cumulonimbus clouds suggest heavier showers with a few rumbles of thunder.
Towards sunset, the inland showers die away, perhaps giving a few spots of rain along the coast as the decaying clouds drift towards the sea.
Otherwise, the wind moderates quickly, the clouds melt away as darkness descends, and for anyone out on an evening stroll it feels quite pleasant.
In fact, on some occasions the warmest part of the day occurs in the evening as the wind off the still cold sea is replaced by the warmer breeze off the land.
Naturally, the typical day on the Costa del Sol is punctuated by many other types of weather, and April often produces more than it’s fair share of atypical days.
Several times during April you can expect to wake up to a beautiful sunny day with very little wind and by mid morning it feels summery as temperatures climb close to 20 Celsius (68F) and it also becomes quite humid.
The visibility is not too good , and although sunny, the sunshine intensity is reduced by a brownish haze.
The astute observer may see some ragged low cloud in the distance over the nearly calm sea, and this is the first tell-tale sign of the day to come.
Just as you unfurl the towel on the beach, and shed your everyday clothes for an afternoon in the sun, the yellow orb disappears. A light, but chilly, breeze blows in off the sea, and within minutes you find yourself enveloped in sea fog.
The sun weakly appears from time to time, but from a high of 22 Celsius (72F) the mercury abruptly descends. The sea temperature during April typically lies between 16 and 19 Celsius (61-66F), sometimes higher after a prolonged spell of sunny weather and light winds, but under the grey skies, whatever the sea temperature, it will feel distinctly chilly.
For reasons, as yet, not fully explained, the temperature on the beach can continue to drop well below sea temperatures and the mid afternoon value may only be about 9 or 10 Celsius (48-50F) with a visibility of less than 100 metres.
Fortunately, the sea fog doesn’t usually penetrate too far inland, and Malaga Airport just has patchy low cloud and mist. Sometimes a wet fog does descend on the airfield, more especially in the early evening, and incoming passengers are set to enjoy Sevilla Airport, and the delights of a 2 hour coach ride to Malaga.
Around 10 in the evening, the fog disappears as quickly as it arrived with a dry land breeze pushing the remains of low cloud and poor visibility well out to sea.
Winter-type disturbances can still affect the western Mediterranean during April, and on rare occasions, northern Europe can enjoy a week of unbroken warm sunshine under a large area of high pressure, whilst Malaga and it’s environs endure stiff easterly winds and periods of rain, curtesy of low pressure over North Africa.
The mirth of the northern Europeans is soon replaced by envy, and in some years the month of April is rainless and largely sunny with high pressure firmly in charge over Iberia throughout the month. Daytime temperatures regularly rise into the low to mid 20s Celsius (68-77F), and if sea breezes fail to develop, values may soar above 30 Celsius (86F).
By the end of April, in some years, the landscape is already turning brown, a precursor of the summer to come.