MADRID – Spain is in the midst of its worst June heatwave in 20 years, with all but two of the country’s 17 Autonomous Communities on high alert for dangerously high temperatures.
Temperatures in parts of southern Spain, such as Andalusia and Extremadura, have reached over 40 degrees Celsius, with Cordoba reaching 43 degrees and Badajoz 41 degrees, according to Xinhua. The weather in Madrid’s capital reached well above 35 degrees, and it is expected to stay that way through the weekend.
“A severe heatwave at this time of year is exceptional,” said Ruben del Campo, a spokesman for Spain’s Meteorological Agency (AEMET). “This is the most intense heatwave in mid-June in the last 20 years,” he said, with AEMET predicting a “extreme” danger of wildfires due to temperatures 7-12 degrees above usual for the season.
Following the cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Teresa Ribera, Minister of Ecological Transition, noted that the “early, record-breaking heatwave, coming on top of another heatwave less than a month earlier is highly alarming.”
Spain has seen some of the warmest temperatures since the turn of the century, as well as one of the driest winters on record, leaving reservoir levels dangerously low.