Spain has registered its hottest spring since records began, with average temperatures almost two degrees Celsius higher than average, the AEMET national weather agency said Wednesday.

"The spring of 2023 was the hottest spring on record in Spain," it said, referring to a three-month period that began in March.

The country was already experiencing a prolonged drought that has hit its key agricultural sector.

The average temperature was "14.2 degrees Celsius (57.5 degrees Fahrenheit), which was 1.8C hotter" than normal, the agency said.

That is "extremely hot, exceeding 1997 -- the hottest spring up to now -- by 0.3C," it added.

In late April, Spain suffered a major heatwave with local temperatures up to 20C hotter than average.

The World Weather Attribution (WWA), whose scientists study the link between extreme weather events and climate change, called the event "exceptional".

The extreme heat, which engulfed the Iberian peninsula and parts of North Africa, pushed temperatures to record highs for April, with the mercury hitting 38.8C in southern Spain.

At the time, AEMET said it was Spain's driest and hottest April since records began in 1961.

Since mid-May, however, the drought has eased slightly with the arrival of an unseasonably wet period.

"Until almost mid-May, there was no rain," said AEMET spokesman Ruben del Campo.

"With the rains in the second half of May, the situation has eased a little."

However, the drought, "which is measured over the longer term, has not been resolved."