Europe is in the grips of an ‘extreme’ heatwave with temperatures expected to hit 113F after the hottest May in Spain in 100 years.
A cloud of hot air from North Africa has sent temperatures soaring and the suffocating heat could last in most of Spain until June 16 or 17, a few days before summer officially starts on June 21, the earliest heatwave in 40 years.
The searing heat has spread to Portugal and Spain and will move north later this week to Germany, the UK and northern Europe.
The high June temperatures are being caused by a ‘heat dome’, which means the warmth extends high into the atmosphere and impacts pressure and wind patterns.
A mountain of hot air is trapped by high-pressure conditions, compressing it like a lid and wedging it between areas of low pressure, pushing cooler air away.
The current heatwave is the earliest one in Spain registered since 1981, according to state meteorological agency AEMET.
The ‘unusual’ temperatures in the first-half of June come after Spain experienced its hottest May in at least 100 years, Ruben del Campo, spokesman for the Spanish Meteorological Agency (Aemet) said.
Temperatures are forecast to climb as high as 113F in the southern Andalusia region, especially in the cities of Cordoba or Seville, according to Aemet.
Spain’s national weather agency sent out a warning saying the heat wave could feel even worse across the country due to the presence of sand and dust in the air from the Sahara.
The heatwave is also set to spread elsewhere in Europe, such as France in the next few days, del Campo warned.
‘The government is going to encourage the development of cool spaces in urban areas with strong support for local authorities as they adapt to the consequences of climate change,’ government spokeswoman Olivia Gregoire told reporters.
Source: Daily Mail