Historic heat wave in Spain: 40 degrees in Madrid

Historic heat wave in Spain: 40 degrees in Madrid

The heat wave in Spain, which has been unusual at the beginning of the year since the weekend, also affected areas in the center and northeast of the country on Wednesday. For the metropolis of Madrid, the national weather service Aemet warned for 39 to 40 degrees Celsius, in Zaragoza it could even be 45 degrees on Saturday. 36 degrees were predicted for the popular holiday island of Mallorca.

At the same time, temperatures in the south, which had been particularly hard hit, dropped only slightly. 39 degrees were expected in Seville and 41 degrees in Cordoba. In recent days, temperatures in Andalusia have risen to 43 degrees. The heat wave may subside over the weekend, but that’s not certain, Aemet emphasized.

Combined with severe drought, the heat also increases the risk of wildfires and bushfires. More than 19,000 hectares of forest have been burned since the beginning of the year. That’s about double the average for the same period from 2006 to 2021, state TV broadcaster RTVE reported, citing data from the European Earth observation system Copernicus.

According to a report in the newspaper “El PaĆ­s”, the hot seasons are increasing in Spain. They start earlier in the year, are longer, temperatures are higher and are affecting more and more parts of the country at the same time. Southern Spain was already suffering from a premature heat wave of up to 41 degrees in May. “Summer eats spring,” the newspaper headlined at the time. The absolute record was measured last August in Montoro, Andalusia: 47.4 degrees. Experts attribute this to man-made climate change.