A heatwave that is currently affecting the central, south and eastern parts of the Spanish peninsula is due hit its “maximum highs” on Thursday, with as many as seven provinces on red alert: Jaén, Córdoba, Granada, Seville, Cáceres, Badajoz and Ciudad Real. Another 20 provinces are on orange or yellow alert.
A top temperature of 47.2ºC is expected in Córdoba, weather that has been described as “genuinely extreme” by the AEMET state meteorology service.
Should the expected temperature of 46.9ºC be reached today, it would be a new record high
According to a study from AEMET, which covers all of the heatwaves in the country between 1976 and June 2017, temperatures above 46ºC have rarely been seen in Spain. Temperatures exceeding 45ºC have been registered on five occasions, including at Córdoba airport in the summer of 2015, and in 2012 when 45.9ºC was reached at Seville airport.
However, the maximum temperature ever recorded in Spain was not actually during a heatwave: on July 23, 1995 the heat at Córdoba airport hit 46.6ºC.
Should the expected temperature of 47.2ºC be reached today, it would be a new record high.
“This heatwave is worse than expected,” said Delia Gutiérrez, a spokesperson for AEMET. While the heatwave is progressing as forecast, she added, the intensity of the heat is “higher.” To have six red alerts in one day is unheard of. “The red alert is reached when temperatures are around 10% higher than the maximums seen in that location,” the agency explained.
The thermometers are due to register 46.9ºC in Andújar (Jaén), 47.2ºC in Córdoba, 46ºC in Écija (Seville), 45.9 in Linares (Jaén), 44.8ºC in Badajoz capital, and 44.7ºC in Mérida.
English version by Simon Hunter.