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Heatwave arrives in Spain, with 32.5ºC in parts of Mallorca before 9am

The worst of the weather is yet to come, with red alerts – the highest on the three-level scale – expected on Friday

A woman in Barcelona uses an umbrella to protect herself from the sun.
A woman in Barcelona uses an umbrella to protect herself from the sun.

A heatwave will today begin to affect more than a third of peninsular Spain and the Balearic Islands. This is the 10th heatwave registered since 1975, and is the same weather event that is affecting the rest of Western Europe.

Temperatures, which have been rising since Saturday, will today see a fresh increase in practically all of Spain, according to Fernando García, spokesperson for the AEMET state weather agency.

AEMET has also warned that nighttime temperatures will be rising, with so-called “tropical nights” expected

The north of the country will see the mercury rise by 2ºC in general, while the increase will be more notable – between 3ºC and 5ºC – in the north of Castilla y León, Asturias, Cantabria and the Basque Country.

According to AEMET, the high temperatures were notable first thing in the morning, with 32.5ºC in Banyalbufar, on the Balearic Island of Mallorca, at 8.50am. In Andratx, also in Mallorca, the thermometers were showing 32.1ºC at 9am. In third place was Arenys de Mar, in Barcelona, which was registereing 31.3ºC at 9.30am.

AEMET has also warned that nighttime temperatures will be rising, with so-called “tropical nights” expected – that’s to say, with minimum temperatures of 20ºC expected in many areas. Parts of the south and center of the peninsula can expect more than 25ºC over the coming nights.

Orange alerts have been declared already in Zaragoza, Navarre, La Rioja, Vizcaya and Gipuzkoa. This level of weather warning denotes “unusual phenomena and with a certain level of danger for usual activities,” with warnings to the public to be aware of advice from the authorities.

A total of 18 provinces are also on a yellow alert, the lowest of the three. They are Granada, Jaén, Huesca, Teruel, Cantabria, Albacete, all of the Castilla-La Mancha region, Burgos, Soria, all of Catalonia except Tarragona, Madrid, the Balearic Islands and Álava. A yellow warning denotes no risk for the population in general, but challenging conditions for vulnerable members of the public, such as seniors, invalids and children. Recommendations include avoiding sports or working while in the sun at the hottest parts of the day.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday will be the worst days of the heatwave, with up to 44ºC expected

AEMET spokesperson Fernando García

The worst weather is still to come, with fresh rises expected on Thursday. “The increases will continue,” explains García, with 3ºC or 4ºC more in the north of Castilla y León,” as well as 14 provinces moving to an orange weather warning: Aragón, Toledo, Burgos, all of Catalonia apart from Tarragona, Madrid, Navarre, La Rioja and the Basque Country. Yellow warnings will be issued for Córdoba, Granada, Jaén, Cantabria, the rest of Castilla-La Mancha, Ávila, Palencia, Segovia, Soria, Valladolid, Tarragona, Extremadura and the Balearic Islands.

The peak of the heatwave will arrive at the weekend. “Friday, Saturday and Sunday will be the worst days of the heatwave, with up to 44ºC expected, and 42ºC for sure,” warns García, adding that the high temperatures will last at least until Monday or Tuesday. The expert adds that red warnings could be seen on Friday, which would denote extreme risk with phenomena that bring a very high risk for citizens in general.

Much of the peninsula and the Balearic Islands will see temperatures above 35ºC from Friday, which is 5-10ºC above the average for this time of year.

English version by Simon Hunter.

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