Spain Braces for Intense Heat Wave

The Spanish government implemented its national plan for extreme temperatures after the state meteorological office, Aemet, warned that Spain will face “one of the hottest Mays in recent years.”

According to Aemet, temperatures in portions of southern Spain are expected to reach 42 degrees Celsius due to a heatwave of “extraordinary intensity” that will bring hazy skies, a higher danger of forest fires, and blistering temperatures more typical of late summer than mid-May.

“Saturday, May 21, could go down in the history of Spanish meteorology: day and night, the thermometers will register much higher values than those reached, on average, in the middle of the heat wave,” said Ruben del Campo, spokesperson for Aemet. 

Aemet confirmed that the heatwave will come from a mass of hot, dry air coming in from Africa carrying Saharan dust, which is expected to reach temperatures of 10 to 15 degrees Celsius above the seasonal average.

The Saharan dust cloud is also expected to pass over the UK, which saw its hottest day of the year so far on Tuesday, with temperatures in the southeast reaching 27.5 degrees Celsius.

Del Campo warned residents of the “high risk” of forest fires in the south, central, and northeast, as well as the possibility of orange dust clouds.

The Spanish government recommended its citizens to stay hydrated and dress in light clothing, while also cautioning children, pregnant women, the elderly, and the chronically ill.


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