Sixteen heat records broken on Wednesday in Spain

by Lorraine Williamson
heat records

MADRID – August 22 was one of the hottest days residents of Spain can remember. The fourth heatwave of the summer brought hellish temperatures in large parts of Spain. And not only in the places where heat is quite normal in the summer. 

Bilbao, for example, also experienced record high temperatures in the far north of the country. On Wednesday, a temperature of 42.9 degrees Celsius was recorded at the city’s airport, breaking the record of August 1947, when the mercury touched 42 degrees, by almost one degree. Also the Sodupe-Cadagua region inland southwest of Bilbao set a new heat record with temperatures rising to 45.6 degrees. The authorities had warned the population in advance of extreme heat with code red. 

Other parts of Spain also experienced one of the hottest days of the year towards the end of August. And not only the maximum temperatures are extreme, the night-time minimums also offer no respite from the heat. Tropical nights were recorded in many parts of Spain. 

Sixteen heat records broken 

According to the Spanish weather institute Aemet, no less than 16 heat records have been broken in terms of temperature for the month of August. Both for the absolute maximum temperatures and for the highest minimum temperatures. 

Salamanca’s highest temperature in 78 years 

One of them is particularly worrying: the maximum temperature measured at Salamanca airport (41.1º). This is not only a record for the month of August, but also the highest annual temperature since records began in 1945. The previous absolute record was on August 10, 2012, when it hit 41 degrees. 

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The mercury also rose to record highs in nine other cities. These are the station of Tortosa (Tarragona) with 41.6º, Lleida (41.4º), Logroño Airport (41.2º), Zamora (41.1º), Ponferrada (40.1º), Salamanca (40.1º), Valladolid (40º), Soria (37.8º) and Calamocha (Teruel) (37.8º). 

Suffocating nights 

And in six other areas, sleeping was not an option for many people because of the persistent heat. Places that recorded the highest minimum temperature for the month of August are: Getafe (Madrid) (26.2º), Tarifa (Cádiz) (24.6º), Zaragoza Airport (24.5º), Lleida (24.3º), Avila (22º) and Lugo Airport (18.4º). 

Endless heatwave 

What initially was ti have been three days of unbearable heat now appears to be longer. Aemet has rejected weather forecasts for the coming days, in which temperatures would decrease. So we will have to wait until the weekend to feel a little “cooling” in our country. 

“A few days ago, the models pointed to an extraordinary cooling in the Iberian Peninsula from the weekend, but it no longer exists,” said Juan Jesús González Alemán, senior meteorologist at Aemet. 

Related: How long will Spain’s fourth heatwave last? 

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