The government put the national heating plan into effect last night after Emmett, the Spanish counterpart of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, warned that the country was facing “one of the hottest regions in recent years”.
Hot and dry air blows from Africa. This results in exceptionally high temperatures 10 to 15 degrees above the seasonal average, according to the Meteorological Institute, which reports on a very intense heat wave.
“This may be the hottest May heat wave in the last 20 years,” said Ruben del Campo, a spokesman for Emmett. “Friday and Saturday will be the hottest days. The temperatures will drop in the western part on Sunday, but this will be the hottest days in the eastern regions and in the Balearic Islands.”
In Andalusia, temperatures can rise above 40 degrees Celsius today, and above 42 degrees tomorrow. Temperatures can also rise to more than 40 degrees in the northeast of the Ebro Valley, “which is unheard of in that region in May.”
Emmett warns of the “extreme danger” of wildfires posed by heat. Hot air from Africa also brings dust from the Sahara, which leads to lower air quality and reduced visibility.
The government advises citizens to drink plenty of water, wear light clothing, and monitor children, pregnant women, the elderly and those with chronic diseases.
The highest temperature ever recorded in Spain was in August last year, when mercury reached 47.4 degrees in the Andalusian city of Montoro.
Spring records are also being broken in France: the country is already experiencing its 38th consecutive day with above-normal temperatures. The south experiences temperatures above 33 degrees and some weather models expect it to rise to 37 or even 39 degrees by the end of the week — about 17 degrees more than the seasonal average. According to Météo France, the heat wave will last until Sunday or Monday and it is “very likely” that this will be the hottest month in May on record.
Our country has also experienced a warm and dry period in recent weeks, with temperatures reaching 28 degrees. It will be much colder this weekend, after storms have passed our country yesterday and today.