An “unusual” heat wave suffocates Spain before it reaches France

Madrid | With its peak above 40 degrees, the heat wave choked Spain on Monday before hitting France on Tuesday, an “abnormal” episode of the period caused by global warming.

This episode, which comes a few days after the hottest May in Spain for at least 100 years, is leading to “extreme temperatures,” meteorological agency spokesman Ruben del Campo told Spain’s AFP (Immet).

He added that due to the local depression between the Azores and Madeira, which is gradually bringing very hot air from the Maghreb to Western Europe, it started this weekend and “could continue until the end of the week”.

“This extreme heat, at this time of spring, is not normal” and is attributed to “global warming,” said Mr. Del Campo.

According to Emmett, temperatures will exceed 40 degrees in the center and south of the country and may rise to 43 degrees in Andalusia (south), especially in Cordoba or Seville.

And the mercury won’t drop below 20 or 25 degrees at night in these parts of Spain.

The “oldest” in France

According to scientists, the proliferation of heat waves, especially in Europe, is a consequence of global warming. Greenhouse gas emissions increase their strength, duration, and frequency.

Over the past 10 months, Spain has experienced four episodes of extreme temperatures: a heat wave in August 2021 when the record for the highest temperature ever recorded in the country was broken (47.4 degrees in Montoro, in the south), an “unusually high” temperature Between Christmas and New Years, the early rise in May and the current increase.

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In France, this hot air will arrive on Tuesday from the southwest where temperatures may reach 35-36 degrees Celsius, before spreading over the entire southern half on Wednesday and then north.

For the southern half, “the peak of the big heat will be Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with 35 to 38 degrees Celsius,” up to 40 degrees Celsius locally, explained Frederic Nathan, a meteorologist for Météo-France.

He explained that this incident could be “a priori, on a national scale, the oldest since the start of the proceedings.”

Water use restrictions have already been imposed in 35 French provinces, nearly a third of the country.

fire alarm

This heat wave comes after a particularly hot and dry spring that has brought drought to much of France, raising concerns about crops and creating conditions for fires.

In Portugal, this heat wave, which began on Friday and is also expected to continue into the weekend, has brought temperatures between 30 and 35 degrees and can reach 40 degrees in some areas, according to the National Meteorological Institute. .

With the country recording its hottest May since 1931 and nearly all of its land experiencing a “severe drought,” the risk of wildfires is at its peak.

The same scenario is in Spain where, according to Emmett, a “severe” fire risked over the vast majority of the territory.

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