Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. / FRANCIS SILVA

First heatwave of summer to hit Spain this week, with temperatures up to 44 degrees

The national Met Office forecasts that all areas of the country, except Cantabria and a good part of Galicia, will experience a sharp rise in the mercury

RAQUEL MERINO

Spain's State Meteorological Agency (Aemet) has confirmed this Monday, 9 August, that we are heading into the first heatwave of summer this week.

Aemet says that the high temperatures that began on Sunday, will continue in the next few days, thanks to a very hot air mass from Africa, which will intensify and extend to most of the of the mainland and the Balearic Islands. Only the Cantabrian area and a good part of Galicia will be spared, while it could arrive in the Canary Islands at the weekend. «As a consequence, a progressive increase in temperatures, both minimum and maximum, is expected, giving rise to a heat wave,» said Aemet in a statement.

Specifically, as of Wednesday, 11 August, temperatures of around 40 degrees are expected in many areas of the southern mainland and will exceed 35 in much of the rest of the south and centre of the peninsula and in areas of the Balearic Islands. On Thursday, a rise in temperatures is expected in the eastern peninsula and in the Balearic Islands, with little change in the rest, which are likely to exceed 40 degrees in the same areas as the previous day, and also in inland areas of the northeast of the peninsula and inland points in Mallorca.

The days of the greatest intensity of the heat wave will probably occur between Friday and Sunday, when temperatures will exceed 40 degrees in large areas of the southern half, east and central parts of the mainland and in areas of the Balearic Islands. It is probable that 42 degress is reached or exceeded in valley areas of the southern half of the country and in the Ebro valley. But the intense heat will not only be felt during the day, because Aemet forecasts that in areas with very high maximums during the day, the thermometers could remain at 24 or 25 degrees at night.

Andalucía

In Andalucía, Aemet has active an amber warning for Wednesday for maximum temperatures of 40 degrees in the Cordoban countryside and in the Guadalquivir Valley in Jaén, as well as yellow alerts for temperatures of 38 and 39 degrees in areas of Seville, Granada, Almería, Córdoba and Jaén.

In the case of Malaga province, Aemet has not yet activated any warnings, although SUR weather expert José Luis Escudero points out points out the heatwave would affect the Antequera and Ronda regions to a greater extent, and less so the coastal areas. He also points out that, if the wind changes to the west, there could be a new episode of a very strong terral blast from Monday 16 or Tuesday 17 «similar to that of 2 August of last year when Malaga city almost reached 44 degrees.«

What is a heatwave?

According to Aemet, a heatwave is considered an episode of at least three consecutive days weather stations register above the historical average for maximum daily temperatures for the months of July and August during the years from 1971 to 2000.