More than 100 records were broken during unprecedented heat episode in Spain

by Lorraine Williamson
unprecedented heat

MADRID – In recent days, large parts of Spain experienced an unprecedented heat. Temperatures were more similar to those of July. More than a hundred records have been broken, according to El Tiempo. 

It was especially hot in the interior of Andalucia and Castilla-La Mancha. In some areas, in the last phase of this extreme heatwave for the month of April, even more than 35 ° C was measured. Last year summer temperatures started in May and it seems that summer is starting earlier and earlier. This year those temperatures appeared in April. 

Nearly 110 records broken 

A total of nearly 110 records have been broken during this heatwave, spread across Spain. More than eighty of them have broken for maximum temperatures in the month of April. Striking temperatures were measured at historic locations such as Madrid – Retiro, where a maximum of 30.7 ° C was recorded on Thursday 27 April. 

Absolute maximum temperature in Córdoba 

There are two elements that stand out for their extreme rarity. First of all, there is the absolute maximum temperature of 38.8°C, measured in Córdoba. Second, there is a huge difference between the old and new records. In some areas, there is a difference of 4°C or 5°C between the old and new records. 

Also the highest temperature in April in Europe 

Córdoba airport set a new record for the month of April in Spain and all of Europe. On Thursday, April 27, 2023, the station recorded a maximum temperature of 38.8°C. This is the highest temperature ever measured in April on the Spanish mainland and in Europe. 

Moreover, Córdoba – Airport has broken its record for 3 days in a row. On Tuesday it broke the old record of 34ºC (recorded in April 2017). On Wednesday, the maximum surpassed that of Tuesday; and Thursday’s surpassed Wednesday’s. 

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Marked differences between old and new records 

As at other stations, in Córdoba – Airport the difference between the old and the new record is very pronounced, with a difference of +4.8ºC (34.0ºC compared to 38.8ºC). In Badajoz and the rest of the Andalucian interior, there are also more stations with clear differences. Notable is Don Benito (Badajoz), where the station has surpassed its previous maximum by +5ºC. 

Tropical nights in April 

Not only are daytime temperatures breaking records, but minimum temperatures were also higher than ever in many locations. In some places, such as Jaén or Cádiz, there were even tropical nights in April. 

Decreasing temperatures from Sunday 

The end of the record heat in April is near. While historic records may still be broken on Saturday, temperatures will drop by Sunday. This has already started in the northwest of the country. There, the fall is accompanied by rain and thunder. Which can be beneficial to reduce the impact of the prolonged drought on some crops. 

The warmest month of April since 1950 

April is drawing to a close and is on track to become Spain’s hottest month since 1950. It also looks set to become one of the driest in living memory. And the combination of heat and drought has led the government and several autonomous communities to bring forward their heat plans by a month. 

Related post: How to survive the next heat wave in Spain 


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