MADRID – Spain is currently experiencing the third official heatwave of the year. There have been more warm episodes, but they did not meet the criteria to be classified as a heatwave. This time, almost all of Spain is facing extremely high temperatures.
Starting in the far north of the country. A weather alert for heat is quite rare for the province of Pontevedra in Galicia. In Vigo, temperatures on Monday, August 7, may rise to 35 degrees. Additionally, a tropical night is expected in the city, with temperatures around 24 degrees.
That’s why Pontevedra has been assigned heat alarm level 3 by the regional Ministry of Health. That indicates a high level of public health concern. However, the province gets a yellow warning for heat from the Spanish weather agency Aemet.
Even in Asturias, more than 40ºC predicted
Asturias will also face very high temperatures. According to Aemet data, these will rise to about 40º in the municipality of Cangas del Narcea. A temperature that is rarely seen there. From Wednesday, code orange (significant risk) will be activated in southwestern Asturias due to a significant risk of temperatures rising to 37 degrees. The yellow alert is also activated in the central inland, as well as in the Picos de Europa, where thermometers can reach 35 degrees. As for the coastal area, it is expected to be more than 30 degrees. Because such temperatures are quite rare in this area of Spain, it is expected that the regional authorities will activate the special plan for high temperatures. This is usually only done when it gets warmer than 26 degrees.
Very hot in the Basque Country too
The entire autonomous region of the Basque Country, from the coast to the inland, is on orange alert for extreme heat next Wednesday. Weather forecasts point to temperatures of 34 °C on the coast of Bizkaia and Gipuzkoa, up to 39 °C inland, and even 40 °C in the center and south of Álava. The Ribera and the center of Navarra will also fall under this warning with maximums of 39 °C. Night temperatures also remain relatively high, not below 26-27 °C on the coast and inland, and 30 °C in the Rioja Alavesa and the center of Álava. Afterwards, a kind of galerna (a sudden wind from the northwest) is expected, which will refresh the temperatures.
According to José Antonio Aranda of the regional weather agency Euskalmet, this heatwave is one of the consequences of climate change. He emphasizes that although heat is normal in the summer, such extreme situations are quite unusual. According to him, it is an indication that “climate change is already upon us, and we must take action to prevent it from getting worse.”
Code red and stifling in Madrid
The Madrid region is also grappling with unusually high temperatures, even for the capital. The intense effects of this heatwave will already be felt in the city on Monday, with yellow warnings for high temperatures. During the day, temperatures will exceed 34°C in many parts of the mountains around the capital and 36°C in the rest of the region.
On Tuesday, the metropolitan area of Madrid will be given code orange by the authorities. The same applies to the south and west of the region, with temperatures that will reach 40°C. In the mountain areas, it will be warmer than 34 degrees.
Wednesday is expected to be the worst day of the heatwave in Madrid, with a red alarm for the entire region. Maximum temperatures will reach 43°C, and even 44°C in the areas of the South, Vegas, and West. In cities such as Collado Vilalba, Madrid, Navalcarnero, Getafe, and Aranjuez, temperatures can range from 40°C to 45°C.
From Thursday, the maximum temperatures will begin to drop, but the nightly minimum temperatures may remain scorching in the capital Madrid, with an expected heat of 26°C. Maximum temperatures are expected to stay up to 40°C. On Friday, both the maximum and minimum temperatures will drop, although the heat will remain less intense.
Extremadura gets red alert level
The Center for Emergency and Emergency Aid 112 Extremadura has activated the red alert level for high temperatures in the province of Cáceres and the orange level in the province of Badajoz until Friday, August 11, at 9:00 AM. According to the forecasts of the Spanish meteorological service Aemet, the temperatures in Cáceres will rise to 42 degrees, while in Badajoz the thermometers can even reach 43 degrees.
The population is advised by the authorities to avoid or limit outdoor activities that require effort and exposure to high temperatures. Also, advice is to avoid the sun during the hours of highest risk (between 11 and 16h), not to consume alcoholic beverages, to drink plenty of fluids such as cold tea or water with lemon, and to pay special attention to whether the elderly and children are drinking enough.
Catalonia and Costa Brava: 40ºC inland on Thursday
The Meteorological Service of Catalonia (SMC) has warned that the temperature will rise each day this week until Thursday, August 10th, when the highest values of the week will be reached. Given the forecast, the SMC does not rule out that there may be “some peaks near or above 40°C inland.” In the coastal area, it is expected to be 30 °C, and tropical and even scorching nights will return.
Around Valencia: 21 municipalities with code red
21 municipalities in Valencia will receive a code red on Monday, August 7th, due to extreme heat. This includes the regions of Rincón de Ademuz, La Serranía, la Plana de Utiel-Requena, el Valle de Cofrentes-Ayora, and la Vall d’Albaida.
Alicante and Costa Blanca
In Alicante, the most intense heat is expected on Thursday when the mercury can rise to 46 degrees Celsius in San Isidro. From Wednesday, maximum temperatures between 37 and 39 degrees are expected, especially in the inland points of the southern half of the province. All maximum temperatures on the coast will exceed 30 degrees. On Thursday, the heatwave in Alicante will peak with temperatures above 40 degrees in various municipalities in Alicante. The areas expected to be hottest are Vinalopó and Vega Baja, where places like Villena, Elda, Novelda, Pinoso, and Orihuela will experience temperatures up to 45 degrees. The hottest point will be around San Isidro, between Orihuela and Elche, where it can become 46 degrees.
Fourth heatwave for Andalusia
Andalusia is already preparing for a fourth heatwave this summer, with temperatures that can rise to 46 degrees Celsius. Especially Wednesday is expected to be a hot day, with highs of 45 degrees in the provinces of Córdoba and Jaén. However, the weather institute Aemet does not rule out that the temperature can rise to 46 degrees.
The cause of this heatwave is a high-pressure area over Morocco and a low-pressure area off the Portuguese coast, creating a ‘corridor’ through which hot air from Africa can enter the region. This hot air mass will first reach the Guadalquivir valley in the inland of Andalusia and then spread further over the peninsula, with the western provinces of Andalusia being hit first.
Even at night, the temperatures will remain high, with minimum temperatures not falling below 22-23 degrees. The region may also experience calima (a dust cloud from the Sahara) between Monday and Tuesday in the western part. From Wednesday, the desert dust cloud will move to the eastern part.
Heatwave in Málaga and Costa del Sol
In the case of Malaga, the most suffocating heat seems to come only on Wednesday, August 9th. Then code orange (significant risk) will apply due to high temperatures. This warning will mainly relate to the area in and around Antequera with a maximum of 42 degrees. Code yellow is activated on the same day for Ronda and surroundings with 39 degrees and locally 40 degrees. Meteorologists also expect that the second half of the week the ‘terral’ (offshore, warm dry wind) will blow again.