May 30, 2024

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Heat wave hits Portugal, Spain, France and UK

Heat wave hits Portugal, Spain, France and UK

People cool off in a swimming pool during a heat wave in Madrid, Spain. A hot air mass pushed temperatures above 40ºC over much of the Iberian Peninsula, with Spanish territory nearing 44ºC. | Oscar del Bozo/AFP/Metzul Meteorology

After Spain and Portugal, France and the United Kingdom are bracing for the arrival of an exceptional heat wave, the second in a month and with temperatures above 35ºC. According to scientists, there is a direct link between heat waves and climate change as greenhouse gas emissions increase in intensity, duration and frequency.

The heat wave that has settled in western Europe is “mainly affecting Spain and Portugal, but is expected to intensify and spread,” said Claire Nullis, a spokeswoman for the World Meteorological Organization in Geneva. The spokesman warned that the extreme temperatures were creating “droughts” and impacting “glaciers in the Alps”, with a partial detachment of Italy’s Marmolada glacier killing 11 people.

The heat wave in France will last until at least early next week. In the south-west of the country, temperatures of up to 38ºC are expected this Wednesday. In France, two fires destroyed 1,000 hectares of forest in the Bordeaux region of southwestern France on Tuesday. The largest destroyed 800 hectares of pine trees near Landras, 40 kilometers from Bordeaux.

A second fire was reported near the tourist town of Duna de Pilate, located on Arcazón Bay. The flames, which burned about 180 hectares of ancient pine trees, forced at least 6,000 campers to retreat as a precaution. Wednesday, according to firefighters, the fire was still active. Prime Minister Elizabeth Bourne called on her government to mobilize against the “rapid impact” of heat on “people’s health, particularly the most vulnerable”.

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In the United Kingdom, the weather service issued an orange warning for an “extreme heatwave” as temperatures soared past 35ºC since Sunday. The water company has urged Brits to save every last drop of enough boiling water for their cup of tea.

Spain and Portugal continue to experience heat, with thermometers above 40°C. The explosions that devastated central Portugal over the weekend returned on Tuesday afternoon, prompting the evacuation of several towns and the mobilization of more than a thousand firefighters, reminiscent of a 2017 fire that killed around 100 people. fire

According to pictures on local television, firefighters and residents tried to contain the progress of the flames, which threatened several places in the municipalities of Leiria, Pompel, Orem and Alveiser. In Spain, almost all countries were on alert on Wednesday due to extreme temperatures of up to 44ºC.

Children cool off from a fountain in Nantes, western France, in temperatures of more than 30ºC during the second extreme high temperature event of this summer in Western Europe. LOIC VENANCE/AFP/METSUL Meteorology

Spain is a country punished by extreme temperatures with weather stations nearing a maximum of 44ºC Jorge Guerrero/AFP/Metzul Meteorology

A heat wave that started last weekend and will last until Sunday will cause exceptionally high temperatures across the country on Wednesday, with regions such as Andalusia (south), Extremadura (southwest) and Galicia (northwest) on red alert. Spanish Meteorological Institute Amet.

Apart from the Atlantic archipelago of the Canary Islands, all other Spanish regions are under multi-level warnings due to the heat. Yesterday, Mérida, a city in Extremadura near Portugal, recorded a temperature of 43.9 degrees Celsius. This Wednesday, the thermometers should rise a little more, with 44ºC expected in Badajoz (Extremadura) or Córdoba (Andalusia). First, the absolute record of 47.4ºC in Spain in August 2021 at Montoro near Córdoba cannot be beaten.

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