As the UK begins to heat up once more, with temperatures into the low, maybe mid 30sC by the weekend, Iberia is facing an even hotter end to the week. Forecast charts are widely showing temperatures of 40C+ across Portugal and for much of inland Spain. Tourists to these areas would usually expect heat and sunshine and the mid 30sC but if you are heading to Spain, Portugal or southern France then beware that extreme heat is forecast Thursday, Friday and Saturday for the start of August 2018.
Ola de Calor - Ola - Wave (not Hola! Hello) Wave of Heat
Watch the scale on this chart, the top pinkish red is 44-50C @AEMET_Esp is the Spanish Meteorological Agency. The interior of Spain is always very hot, with most Madrileños leaving the capital city on the central plateau and heading for a month by the coast. Andulasia in the south becomes very hot and Corduba, well inland holds the record, just last summer.
They mention 44C for Guadiana and Guadalquivir in centre/SW regions, and real heat by night too. Cordoba airport officially recorded 46.9C in mid July 2017 and the nearby village of Montoro managed 47.3C on the same day as the current Spanish record. Seville is a large city (population similar to Leeds) and Cordoba itself is a sizeable city, a larger population than Cardiff and red-hot in summer.
Western areas of the Iberian peninsula get hotter and hotter this week. All areas are now seeing temperature warnings. The individual warnings issued by each European country's Met services get brought together on Meteo Alarm, and you can see the orange colours for two days ahead. <Update 1st Aug now red- extreme high temps>
The Portuguese record is very similar at 47.4C at the start of August in 2003, the same year that the UK set its all-time record at 38.5C. Many UK holidaymakers head to the Algarve in the south of Portugal which is forecast to have temperatures ranging from 30 to 40C. The capital Lisbon could see 41 or 42C but should be back to the low 30sC next week. The peak of the heat is the end of this week. This heat is a killer, with hundreds of excess summer deaths for Portugal expect once more.
IPMA is the Portuguese Meteorological Agency, their twitter feed is a rather dry affair;. @ipma_pt. The red and orange warnings are for extreme heat. There are also real concerns about the ongoing wildfire risk. The critical time for wildfires in Portugal lasts officially until the end of September. You may remember the strange red sun accompanying Hurricane Ophelia last October, that phenomenon was linked to Saharan dust and Portuguese wildfire particles.
The wildfire risk just increases as the temperatures rise. It is dry, hot and sunny and wildfire prevention is part of life for half the year.
The Europe wide record is 48C in Greece, Iberia rarely sees over 46C but with the warming of the earth, records keep on getting broken. There is the potential for 45+ this week. Much like in the UK, when people say, my car says the temperature is 42C or the thermometer in my garden says 38C, there is the same issue in Spain. There are strict criteria for measuring air temperature and it has to be in the shade.