1104 GMT June 25, 2022
“The early hours of 21 May have been extraordinarily hot for the time of year across a good part of the centre and south of the peninsula,” Spain’s state meteorological agency, Aemet, said on Saturday. “In many places the temperature did not fall below 25C, something practically unheard of in May,” The Guardian reported.
On Friday, the mercury at Seville airport reached 41C, while another Andalucían city, Jaén, logged its first May temperature of more than 40C as the thermometers registered an unprecedented 40.3C – almost 2C above the previous record.
The city of Segovia, north-west of Madrid, also experienced its first “tropical” May night on Friday as temperatures remained above 20C.
Much of Spain is on yellow alert, meaning that while there is no “meteorological risk for the population”, some activities could be hazardous.
The Spanish government has activated its national plan for excess temperatures and is advising people to keep hydrated and wear light clothing. It also recommends that a close eye be kept on children, pregnant women and older and chronically ill people.
Spain recorded its highest ever temperature last August, when the Andalucían town of Montoro reached 47.4C.
A recent Aemet study found that the arrival of 30C temperatures across Spain and the Balearic islands had come an average of 20 to 40 days earlier over the past 71 years.
“The summer is eating up the spring,” Rubén del Campo, an Aemet spokesperson, told El País on Friday.
“What’s happening fits perfectly with a situation where you have a warmer planet,” he said, adding that the rise in temperatures was a “direct and palpable [consequence] of climate change … The climate in Spain isn’t the one we used to know. It’s got more extreme.”