In Malaga and on the Costa del Sol the high temperatures will be more noticeable at the beginning of the week / F. SILVA

Spain's Met Office warns first heatwave of the year is on its way, with temperatures over 40C

The mercury will start to climb this weekend as a blast of very hot air arrives from north Africa

ENRIQUE MIRANDA Malaga

The weather in Malaga province was pretty hot earlier this week because of the terral wind, but now the national Aemet weather office is warning that the first real heat of the year is about to begin. Temperatures will start to warm up this weekend as a blast of very hot air arrives from north Africa, and from Tuesday onwards it could easily be over 40C in Malaga.

Hot weather can officially be considered a heatwave when temperatures are higher than average for at least three consecutive days.

This weekend will not be too bad, say Aemet, with a high of 29-30C in most places in the province, but on Tuesday and Wednesday temperatures are expected to be around 40C. Nor can coastal resorts rely on a refreshing breeze to keep cool: in Marbella, Fuengirola and Torremolinos the forecast is for 34C on Tuesday and over 40C on Wednesday.

Inland

Antequera can expect a high of 37C and Ronda 36C from Monday, and in Coín the forecast is for 40C on Tuesday and 45C on Wednesday

Today, Friday, a centre of low pressure is forming to the northwest of Morocco and this will push a mass of hot air into southern Spain. This will result in a progressive rise in temperatures, and in some areas such as the Guadalquivir, Guadiana and Tajo valleys, it will be over 38C today, possibly reaching 40C in the Guadalquivir.

Elsewhere, temperatures of 38C can be expected in much of central Spain, Extremadura, the north of Andalucía and west of Castilla-La Mancha on Saturday, but Aemet believes they will start to drop again from Tuesday in those areas.