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What you need to know about new heatwave scorching Spain this week

Extreme temperatures are returning to Spain this week with what is set to be the second heatwave of the summer.

What you need to know about new heatwave scorching Spain this week
Photo: AEMET

Spain’s state meteorological agency (Aemet) issues alerts for 40 provinces across Spain on Monday warning about high temperatures, strong winds, thunder storms and wildfire risk.

High temperatures

Orange alerts were issued for 14 provinces where the mercury was predicted to reach above 40C. 

There were Córdoba, Jaén, Huesca, Teruel, Zaragoza, Toledo, Ávila, Salamanca, Lleida, Madrid, Navarra, Badajoz, Cáceres and La Rioja,

Yellow alerts were also in place in Almería, Granada, Huelva, Sevilla, Albacete, Ciudad Real, Cuenca, Guadalajara, Burgos, León, Palencia, Salamanca, Segovia, Soria, Valladolid, Zamora, Barcelona, Gerona, Tarragona, Lugo, Ourense, Ibiza y Formentera, Mallorca, Menorca, Álava and Guipúzcoa.



Photo: AFP

Storm risk

But with the high temperatures come thunder storms and seven provinces were issued with warnings for storms; Cantabria, Ciudad Real, Palencia, Burgos, Zamora, Salamanca and Cáceres.

This map shows the likely density of lightening strikes over the coming hours. 

Strong winds

A strong wind is set to blow in from the east across the southern tip of Spain and towards Almeria. While Galicia as usual, will experience its own weather system with winds blowing in from the north.

The Canary Islands were also told to expect strong winds.

Wildfire danger

With high temperatures, strong winds and vast forest  areas that are already parched, there is a high risk of wildfires breaking out.


How long will it last?

The heatwave is expected to last until Thursday.


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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.