First heatwave puts 37 provinces on high alert

Significant risk due to soaring temperatures in 13 areas, including almost all of the Basque Country and Galicia

People cool off in a fountain in Madrid Río.
People cool off in a fountain in Madrid Río.Kiko Huesca (EFE)

The first heatwave of the summer, which started on Sunday and is affecting almost all of Spain, has put 37 provinces on intense alert due to the high temperatures. Of those, 13 are on orange alert (the second-highest level, indicating significant risk for unusual meteorological phenomenon and a certain level of danger for normal activity), especially in parts of the south, center and west, where the Spanish Meteorological Agency Aemet predicts temperatures of up to 41ºC. The rest of the country is on yellow alert, meaning the risk is limited to outdoor activity.

This Monday’s forecast predicts clear or mostly clear skies throughout much of Spain, except for early in the day in the Gibraltar Straits, Melilla and the area north of the Canary Islands, occasional cloud cover along the northern coast of Galicia, and high- and mid-level clouds above the northwest part of the peninsula. Temperatures will continue to climb in all areas besides the extreme southwest, where they are expected to drop, and in the southern and eastern coast, Balearic Islands, and Canary Islands, where they are expected to remain constant. This rise in temperature will be “notable” near the Cantabrian Sea, and “abnormally high” in the north-western half of the country. Temperatures are likely to exceed 36ºC in large zones of the inland peninsula, even exceeding 40ºC in the valleys of Tajo, Guadiana and Guadalquivir.

Here are today’s regional advisories:

Extremadura is on active orange alert (significant risk) for temperatures over 41ºC in the plains of Guadiana, Tajo and Alagón. Aemet predicts tropical nights in this region, meaning temperatures will remain above 20ºC.

Andalusia is on orange alert in Cordoba, Jaén and Seville for temperatures over 40ºC, and in the valley of Guadalquivir. Additionally, Granada is on yellow alert for temperatures of up to 38ºC or 39ºC in Genil, Guadix-Baza and Cadiz, expecting gusts of wind up to 80km/h.

Castilla-La Mancha, Ciudad Real and Toledo remain on orange alert for temperatures reaching 40ºC in La Mancha, the Guadiana valley and the Tajo valley. Albacete, Cuenca and Guadalajara are on yellow alert for temperatures of up to 37ºC in the Albacete region of La Mancha, the Cuenca region of Alcarria, and the high moorlands of Molina.

Madrid is on active orange alert for highs of 39ºC or 40ºC in various parts of the south, the western region, the Metropolitan zone, and the Henares Corridor. In the mountains, the alert is yellow for temperatures expected to reach 36ºC.

Galicia remains on orange alert in A Coruña, Lugo and Ourense for temperatures between 37ºC and 29ºC. In Pontevedra, a yellow alert is still in effect for temperatures up to 34ºC or 36ºC in the Rías Baixas, interior zone, and the area around the Miño river.

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Basque Country is on orange alert in Bizkaia and Gipuzkoa for temperatures of 37ºC in the interior and along the coastline, with a yellow alert active in Álava.

The regions of Aragón, Cantabria, Castilla y León, Navarra, La Rioja, Asturias and the Catalonian provinces of Girona and Lleida remain on yellow alert for temperatures between 34ºC and 36ºC.

The ultraviolet radiation index is predicted to reach level 10 in Andalusia, the central plateau, the coast of Levante and the Balearic Islands, while Jaén and Granada could see level 11 and the entirety of the northern Peninsula could see level nine. Aemet considers UV radiation above level 11 “extremely high.” In these cases, the agency recommends applying extra sunscreen, avoiding unnecessary time spent outside during the middle of the day and seeking out shade. It also recommends wearing hats, protective clothing and sunglasses, advising that special attention should be paid to children and fair-skinned people.

English version by Allison Light.


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