Mid-June has not yet arrived, but the first heatwave of the year has already started. This could last at least until Thursday. Furthermore, yesterday (Sunday) saw temperatures around 40 degrees in parts of Andalucia, Extremadura and Castilla-La Mancha.
The meteorological agency Aemet identified these autonomous regions as the hottest areas at the start of this heat wave. However, Madrid can also be added to that. The orange weather alert (major risk) was in effect here early in the day.
At four o’clock in the afternoon the thermometer reached 43 degrees in Andújar (Jaén); 42 in Cordoba and Carmona (Seville); 41.9 in Mérida (Badajoz) and Almadén (Ciudad Real) or 41.8 in Almonte (Huelva), according to data from the Aemet.
They’re all unusual values for June, a month when a period of high temperatures is normal, “but not a heatwave like the one we’ll have this early in the month,” said José Miguel Viñas, Meteored’s meteorologist.
Tourists with fans and bottles of water
Due to the high temperatures, the streets in Extremadura were practically deserted. Those who could be seen on the streets, for example, tourists in historic centres such as Mérida, carried fans, hats and bottles of water. However, you didn’t see the locals anywhere. Many had sought refuge in swimming pools or one of the freshwater beaches in the region.
Scorching days in many cities, but also the nights are expected to be stifling with values between 20 and 25 degrees in large parts of the south and centre of the country.
Ten highest temperatures in the country
That was also the scenario in Extremadura, for example, where the ten highest temperatures in the entire country were recorded tonight, with Navalvillar de Pela (Badajoz) in the lead with 33.1 degrees.
Many cities were gearing up for the first tropical night of the year. Moreover, the thermometers did not fall below 20 degrees in many places. Such is the case in Barcelona, where the minimum was expected to be around 24.
These tropical nights are – according to Viñas – “a clear and growing trend”. Previously, it was “a rarity that we had these warm nights outside the summer. Now it’s starting to become normal at other times of the year.”
Temperatures for next week
The heat wave will spread over almost the entire peninsula so that on Monday (today) and Tuesday the temperature increase in the north and south-east of the peninsula and the Balearic Islands will continue. This heatwave “will, in any case, continue until Thursday 16 June, without excluding the possibility that it will take “a few more days” longer. The uncertainty is “high” and depends on the evolution of a DANA near Maderia, which is “not yet can be accurately determined”.
As of Thursday, according to Aemet data, it is possible that temperatures in the western half of the peninsula will drop significantly. However, the very high values in the eastern half could be maintained.
High forest fire hazard
High temperatures will also put an extremely high risk of wildfires in most of the Iberian Peninsula in the coming days.
Also read: Forest fire under control
“Particularly hot summer in Spain and Europe”
Such an early heatwave “is not an indicator of how summer will behave thermally,” Viñas says. He does point out that the European Centre’s seasonal forecast “has been indicating for weeks that we would have a particularly hot summer in Spain and Europe.”