The worst hotspots on Wednesday stretched from the Guadalquivir valley in Andalusia eastward across to the Ebro river, taking in Zaragoza, Lleida and the eastern edge of Navarre, where temperatures were expected to reach 40ºC.
The center of the country, the western region of Extremadura and Andalusia and Madrid, were not much better off, with temperatures above 38ºC.
As a result, 29 provinces have been put on alert, six of them on orange: Huesca, Teruel, Zaragoza, Lleida, Madrid and Navarre, with the remainder on yellow alert, including Córdoba, Granada, Jaén, Castilla-La Mancha, Ávila, Burgos, Salamanca, Segovia, Soria, Valladolid, Zamora, Catalonia, Valencia, Extremadura, the Balearics and La Rioja.
For the first time since Saturday, when summer kicked in with high temperatures throughout Spain, Tuesday produced two record breakers, albeit at the other end of the thermometer. In Zamora, the minimum temperature was 22.2ºC, the highest minimum for a June since records began in 1920. Meanwhile, in Salamanca, the minimum was 21.7ºC, the highest since 1940.
So far no records have been broken in terms of top temperatures, but AEMET noted 40.6ºC in Granada, which spokesman Rubén del Campo said was “10ºC higher than normal for the time of the year.”
And all this before Thursday’s special heatwave warning, which AEMET has extended to include the center of the country. This is the first heatwave of 2017, and comes a week ahead of the official arrival of summer.
Del Campo said that while temperatures will fall slightly in the north of the country, the west of Spain will see further temperature increases that will continue on Friday. The current heatwave will last until Sunday at the earliest.
English version by Nick Lyne.