After a brief respite from the heat temperatures rose again in Spain on Sunday, reaching over 40C in many places, and the state weather agency Aemet says this could be the third heatwave of the summer.
Spokesperson Rubén del Campo says the hot spell could last until Wednesday or Thursday and “it is possible that the thresholds of intensity, persistence and extension could mean we can officially classify this as another heatwave”.
It is not, however, as bad as the one in July, which is believed to have broken all records.
As well as temperatures of 42C in some areas of Spain this week, the nights have felt pretty tropical with a minimum of 20C in the east and south of the country. Aemet also says the temperature of the Mediterranean is between three and four degrees warmer than usual at this time of year.
The high temperatures registered between 9 and 18 July caused 500 deaths, Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez said recently, and this year has also been marked by the incidence of forest fires, especially in the centre and east of the country. Nearly 230,000 hectares of land have been burned in Spain since the beginning of the year.
Scientists say the increase in the number of heatwaves is a direct consequence of climate change, because the greenhouse gases increase in intensity, duration and frequency.