Is Spain facing the earliest heatwave in history?

by Lorraine Williamson

WEATHER – It will be hot, hot and hot again for the next few days. If the forecasts of the Spanish weather service come true, Spain will have to deal with not only the earliest heatwave of the year ever, but also the most intense of the past 20 years. 

Meteorologists are watching with full interest these days the temperatures measured in Spain. Temperatures so high from Wednesday to Saturday are forecast that Aemet expects this week to see the earliest heatwave since measurements began. 

Will Spain break record for earliest heatwave of the year? 

Wednesday was the first day of the abnormal heat in Spain. Almost everywhere temperatures are at least 10 to 15 degrees above the average for the month of May. The first heatwaves of the year were recorded on June 11 (in 1981) and on June 13 (in 2017). If we can speak of a heatwave after this week, these records will be broken by a full month. 

Yet this is not unexpected: years ago, the Aemet predicted that the number of days on which one can speak of a heat wave per 10 years will increase by 2.2 days. In the period 1975-1979, for example, there was talk of a heatwave on an average of 0.8 days a year. In the period 2016-2020 this has increased to an average of 3.2 days per year. 

High heat in Spain on Friday and Saturday 

At the moment the sun is shining in Spain. Moreover, the weather is stable and a warm air mass from Africa drifted into Spain on Wednesday. The peak of the current hot period will therefore fall on Friday and Saturday. If the Aemet’s predictions come true, Spain will face not only the earliest heatwave of the year on record, but also the most intense of the past 20 years. Intense because people are not yet prepared for it. 

Moreover, this heatwave is again considered a warning; because this early in the year will only make the current problems of desertification and drought in Spain worse. 

What will the next few days look like in Spain? 

For Thursday, the Aemet predicts high temperatures in the south, centre and northeast that will exceed 30 to 35 degrees. Only in the northwest does it stay between 20 and 25 degrees. And along the east coast it can feel a bit more pleasant. 

Friday and Saturday are expected to be the hottest days in Spain with temperatures approaching 40 degrees in southern and central Spain. The worst heat in Spain seems to be over on Sunday and especially Monday. After these days we will also know for sure whether we can speak of the earliest heat wave in the history of Spain. 

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