Worst June heat wave in 20 years peaks

The first heat wave of the summer arrives this Tuesday at the equator in the south, a peak that will reach the center and north of the country on Wednesday. Up to 15 communities, in which 26.1 million Spaniards live, are on alert due to high temperatures, with Andalusia, Aragón, Castilla y León, Castilla-La Mancha, Extremadura, Madrid and Catalonia under an orange warning ―significant risk, the second level of three―, and the Balearic Islands, Cantabria, Galicia, Murcia, Navarra, the Basque Country, La Rioja and the Valencian Community in yellow―the first level of Meteoalert―. Only the Canary Islands, the north of Galicia, the western Bay of Biscay and parts of the peninsular Mediterranean coast are spared from the Iberian oven.

Not only is it already the earliest wave, tied with another from 1981, but it is also the “most intense for mid-June in at least the last 20 years”assures Rubén del Campo, spokesman for the State Meteorological Agency (Aemet), which is based on the “very unusually high values ​​​​given by the EFI index (Extreme Forecast Index)”, with which the rarity of an extreme phenomenon.

On Monday, the Cordoba town of Montoro, which holds the record for the highest temperature ever recorded in Spain, was one tenth of 43 °, which was reached on Sunday in Almadén (Ciudad Real) and Andújar (Jaén) . Up to 68 Aemet observatories measured 40 ° or more and tropical nights, in which it does not go below 20 °, spread like a raft of oil for more than half of the country. The highest minimum was recorded in Osuna (Seville), where they did not drop below 27.4°. There were also torrid nights, above 25 °, in other parts of Andalusia and Extremadura. They are maximum between 7° and 12° above the normal average of this time and the minimum, between 4° and 13°

This Tuesday, a new turn of the screw is expected in the thermometers, with a rise in temperatures in the north and southeast of the peninsula and in the Balearic Islands. The worst, again, will be in the Guadiana and Guadalquivir valleys, where for the third consecutive day they can touch or exceed 43 °. The thermometers will be above 35° in large areas of the northern plateau, upper Ebro, southern Galicia, the interior of the eastern Cantabrian Sea and Mallorca, and above 40° in the Ebro valley. In the center and south of the peninsula they will reach or will exceed 40° in large areas.

On Wednesday it will loosen in the south, with a very slight drop in temperatures in parts of Andalusia. However, the heat will get worse in the center and in the north, so “for the whole of mainland Spain and the Balearic Islands it could be the worst day,” says Del Campo. 40° are expected in Valladolid, Zamora and Madrid, 41° in Jaén and more than 42° in Zaragoza, Seville and Córdoba. As for the warning map, on Wednesday 15 regions remain on alert, but those with an orange warning increase to nine: Andalusia, Aragon, the two Castillas, Catalonia, Extremadura, Madrid, Navarra and La Rioja. In yellow will be the Balearic Islands, Cantabria, Galicia, Murcia, the Basque Country and the Valencian Community.

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These days the skies will continue to be cloudy, since there is dust in suspension in the very warm air mass from North Africa that is arriving in Spain, partly causing the situation along with the atmospheric stability and the high insolation typical of June. “Isolated thunderstorms may also occur in the afternoon through Wednesday in mountainous areas of the northern half. Although not much precipitation is expected, some storms may be locally more intense,” Del Campo completes the forecast.

On Thursday, explains Del Campo, “a slight drop would be noticed in the western end of the Peninsula and Badajoz could stay a little below 40º”, but in the rest of the country the values ​​of Wednesday would be maintained or even higher in the Western Cantabrian. In the update of its special notice, the Aemet has extended the wave “at least until Friday, without ruling out that it lasts a few more days, especially in the eastern half of the peninsula.”

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