HEATWAVE: ‘Hell is coming’ with Spain set to sizzle in temperatures up to 45C

Spain is bracing for a suffocating heatwave that will bring extreme temperatures of 40 plus degrees centigrade to most of the mainland and the Balearics this week.

HEATWAVE: 'Hell is coming' with Spain set to sizzle in temperatures up to 45C
Photos: AFP

Spain’s national weather agency AEMET has issued a weather alert warning residents of most of mainland Spain and the Balearics to expect temperatures above 40C this week. 

A mass of warm air blowing over from Africa will bring with it an average increase of 10C for much of the Iberian peninsula by Wednesday, a heatwave meteorologists believe will last until Sunday.

And on this occasion it will be areas of north eastern Spain that are mostly badly hit, rather than the typically hotter southern regions of Extremadura, Andalusia and Murcia.

Zaragoza and Logroño will see the mercury rise on Friday to 45C and 44C respectively, whereas Seville will get a balmier and not too uncommon summer temperature of 35C by the weekend. 

Madrid will also have to endure 41C temperatures by Friday. In Majorca and the other Balearics, the average daytime temperature for the second half of the week will be 35C.

As RTVE meteorologist Silvia Laplana labelled it in this heat map of Spain for the next week, “el inferno (hell) is coming”. 

The only autonomous communities that will be spared are Galicia, Asturias and Cantabria in the northwest and as usual the geographically distant Canaries, which may even get some rainfall this week.

If it serves as any consolation to residents of Spain, much of western Europe will be affected by this heatwave, with weather warnings issued in France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and Belgium.

Unfortunately, meteorologists have warned that accompanying high humidity will make 40C feel more like 47C.

Authorities have issued warnings against dehydration and heatstroke, in particular for children and the elderly, and hospitals have been placed on high alert.

“I'm worried about people who are downplaying this, who are continuing to exercise as usual or stay out in the sun,” French Health Minister Agnes Buzyn said.

“This affects all of us, nobody is a superman when it comes to dealing with the extreme heat we're going to see on Thursday and Friday,” she told a press conference.

“It's unprecedented because it's hitting so early in June, we haven't seen this since 1947,” said Emmanuel Demael, a forecaster at the Meteo-France weather agency. 

If you're wondering how best to endure the suffocating weather up ahead, the following list has some handy advice.

READ ALSO: Top ten tricks to beat the Spanish heat



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Spain urges holidaymakers to head home early due to snow and strong wind warnings

Nine Spanish regions were put on alert on Tuesday for heavy snow, rain and strong winds, with the country's traffic authorities calling for people taking holidays this long weekend to head home early to avoid the worst of the bad weather.

Spain urges holidaymakers to head home early due to snow and strong wind warnings
Vehicles stuck in traffic due to a heavy snowfall near Burgos, northern Spain, in March 2021. Photo: Cesar Manso/AFP

Aragón, Castilla y León, Catalonia, Navarra and the Basque Country will be on orange alert from Tuesday for snow storms, while Asturias, Cantabria, La Rioja and La Comunidad Valenciana are on the less-severe yellow alert, Spain’s State Meteorological Agency (Aemet) announced.

A slight increase in temperatures will increase the risk of avalanches in the Pyrenees and the central Cantabrian mountain range.

Some roads in the north of the country are already being affected by snow and are being restricted to some traffic such as trucks and heavy vehicles.

Spain’s traffic authority (DGT) called on residents in the northern half of the country to return early from the puente (long weekend) marked by the public holidays of December 6 and 8, ahead of heavy snow forecast for Wednesday.

Of the 108 main roads affected by the heavy snow in Spain, almost half of them are in the northeastern region Aragón.

Aragón, Catalonia and Navarra are at risk of avalanches, according to data from Aemet, while a storm warning has been issued for the coastal areas of Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria, Catalonia and the Basque country.

Heavy rainfall is expected in Galicia, extending to Cantabria and the western Pyrenees.