The first heat wave of the summer has hit Spain. Between Thursday and Saturday, temperatures are expected to soar across much of the peninsula and the Balearic Islands.
Every region of Spain except for the Canary Islands and the Valencia region has issued a heat advisory for temperatures that could reach up to 42ºC along the eastern Cantabrian coast.
In the Basque city of Bilbao, readings on thermometers are expected to jump from 29º to 42º in just 24 hours. It is not often that the Basque Country records temperatures of 40ºC and over. Bilbao’s record dates back to 1947, when the city logged 42ºC.
The heat spell is caused by a southern wind that is pushing temperatures up by 10 degrees and more, said Rubén del Campo, a spokesperson for the national weather service Aemet.
Del Campo said that other areas of Spain will experience similar heat, including parts of Mallorca and Almería, Extremadura, Castilla-La Mancha and parts of the Madrid region.
In the Valencia region, the heat wave is expected to hit on Friday. Other Mediterranean areas will experience hotter weather as well, including Murcia and the Balearic Islands.
The heat wave is expected to end on Sunday. Meteorology experts note that in Spain, a spell of hot weather is considered a heat wave if there are at least three straight days of unusually warm weather that falls within the top 5% of existing temperature records and affects at least 10% of weather stations.
Last summer there were three heat waves, one for each month of the season. The worst one was in June: it lasted six days, and brought temperatures that were four degrees above normal.
English version by Susana Urra.