This Sunday at six in the afternoon, the station of the State Meteorological Agency (Aemet) of Badajoz has registered a maximum of 38°, a provisional record pending to be validated on Monday, but which means breaking the record for half a degree. maximum temperature of peninsular Spain and the Balearic Islands for October. The previous heat ceiling for this month was 37.5°, which occurred in the Malaga town of Marbella on October 22, 2014. The second highest maximum was measured in Carmona (Seville) with 37.4°, followed from Andújar (Jaén) with 37.2°, equal with Seville.
This day, in the worst of an episode of exceptionally high temperatures that began on Thursday and for which there is no clear end date, Aemet has activated its first heat warnings in October since the national prediction and prediction plan was created. surveillance of adverse phenomena (Meteoalerta) in 2016. These are yellow warnings – the lowest on a scale of three – in Cantabria, Galicia and the Basque Country, which occur in the same year in which, also for the first time, They issued warnings for high temperatures in April, so the window of increasingly frequent extreme heat that Spain suffers is extended from mid-spring to mid-autumn.
Andújar, where the forecast today pointed to a maximum of 37°, but which in previous days reached 39°, had until now the second highest October maximum in the entire country, 37.4° on October 2, 2004. “The monthly average is 25º,” contextualizes the printer Antonio Lomas, who has been monitoring the Aemet observatory since that year in this town of 37,000 inhabitants in the upper course of the Guadalquivir, known for being the cradle of the lynx and for its oil, with the Koipe factory at the helm.
“The maximum in Andújar is 45.5° in August, but what is truly significant is not this peak, but the persistence and constancy of 40°; last summer, for 25 days in a row, it was from 40° to 45°,” Lomas stands out. “The average temperature has also increased a lot, and the minimum temperatures have skyrocketed, now reaching 27°,” he explains, noting that the summers “have lengthened a lot” and now go from April, already at 38°, to the middle of October or even November. Despite the tremendous heat, there was and is “zero alarm” in the town. “There is no pain, we are from Andújar,” people say jokingly when asked about the heat, but many are not aware that this is not the same heat as always, it is more and for longer,” he concludes. Aemet’s local collaborator.
Mari Carmen López, 62, is of the same opinion, as she heads to mass this Sunday in San Miguel, next to City Hall, defying the high temperatures. “As the years go by, the heat has become more pronounced. The summers have always been strong, but they didn’t last that long, now they are simply horrible, and then came very rainy weather and a very cold winter. We have not worn our coats for several years now, not even for Christmas, to which is added the problem of water, which is very serious,” she explains. “We have always had San Miguel summers, but we are not like this one, ever. Normally, by mid-October I would already change my wardrobe and for the Saints – which in the town is celebrated by spending the day in Sierra Morena -, with sweatshirts. Now we don’t even want porridge – a hot dessert with matalahúva typical of the area that you have to eat on said festival “to be handsome all year round” -“, laughs López.
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Also attending mass is Luis Rico, a 71-year-old pharmacist. “It has never been this hot in October in my life. The traditional thing here was to put on the jacket after the fair, at the beginning of September. Right now we are not in autumn, we are in summer, we have to see the temperatures in proportion and it can be 40% more,” he confirms. “Before, when we saw that it was going to be 30° it seemed outrageous and now we live in 40°.”
Meanwhile, the central Doce de Agosto street, a pedestrian area full of tapas bars and which is still covered, has no room for a soul at vermouth time. Sita Estudillo and Antoñita Guerrero, retired teachers who do not plan to confess their age even remotely, share beer. “No, we don’t remember any summer like that or the summers that all of Andalusia and almost all of Spain are suffering. Even on the seashore it is very muggy,” they remember. What they miss most are “the Calaera rains, not like now, when it hardly rains and when it does, it is torrential.” In one of the hottest towns in the country, it is difficult to find climate change deniers.
The entire weekend, as the forecasts indicated, has been deadly. On Saturday, Badajoz marked the highest temperature in the Aemet network, with 37.9°, followed by Seville with 37.5°, Bailén (Jaén) with 37.5° and Andújar with one tenth less in the observatory of the agency, on the banks of the river, but 38.6° at the City Hall, in the heart of the town. And on Friday, in El Granado (Huelva) it reached 39.3°, in Montoro (Córdoba) at 38.4° and in Seville at 38. These are “exceptionally high” and “very unusual” values for this time of the year, in fact, are those of August. In almost all of Spain, thermometers show between 10º and 15º above normal throughout the weekend and on Monday, when the peak of the episode ends, especially in the northern half.
There will still be a very hot day ahead on Monday, with Cantabria and the Basque Country under a yellow warning. According to Aemet spokesperson, Rubén del Campo, “a thermal decrease is expected in Galicia and in the Mediterranean area”, but temperatures will rise a lot in the eastern Cantabrian Sea, while “in the rest of the country there will be no changes.” Therefore, temperatures “will be similar in general to those on Sunday, except 2°-3° lower in the Mediterranean and Galicia and “clearly higher in cities like Bilbao, which could even exceed 35°, and in Santander and San Sebastián, which could be around 32°.”
At the moment, Aemet still does not set a date for the end of this episode, although on Tuesday there are no active heat warnings. “As of this day, there is more uncertainty about the evolution of the episode,” confesses the meteorologist. It will probably cool in the northern half, especially in the Cantabrian Sea, where “the drop could be 8° or 10° in one day.” However, “it does not seem that there will be significant changes in the rest.”
It seems that starting Wednesday and in the following days there may be “rise and fall in temperatures depending on the areas and days,” but “it is most likely that the unusually high temperatures will continue in a good part of the Peninsula for most of it.” of the week”. In the Canary Islands, the heat will also be unusual next week, from 32° to 34° in large areas and haze.
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