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WEATHER

Spain roasts in sizzling heat with temperatures up to 44C

A heat wave enveloped much of Spain on Sunday, driving temperatures to extreme levels and sending locals and tourists scurrying for shade and cooling waters.

Spain roasts in sizzling heat with temperatures up to 44C

National weather office AEMET issued heat warnings for most of the country, with the thermometer expected to rise above 40C (104F) in Madrid and the southern city of Seville for the second day running.

Spain’s first bout of extreme heat of the year is forecast to spread east on Monday before easing. Only a sliver of Spain’s northern Atlantic coast will be spared.

Some sought respite from the scorching heat in the air conditioned galleries of Madrid’s Prado museum, whose collection includes works by
Rembrandt, Rubens and El Greco.

“We thought this would be a good plan for a day like today,” said Rosa Alfageme, 44, waiting in line to enter the museum with her husband and six-year-old daughter.

“It’s like this every year, we almost forget,” said Alfageme, adding that the family does not have air-conditioning at home.

READ ALSO: Climate crisis: Spain records hottest year in 2020

Others headed to the nearby Retiro park, home to a large artificial lake, or to municipal swimming pools.

Swimming pools overrun in heatwave

Tickets for all the capital’s 19 outdoor swimming pools were sold out on Sunday. Capacity was limited due to virus safety measures.

The authorities advised people to drink water frequently, wear light clothes and avoid prolonged exposure to the sun.

Meteorologists said the temperature could climb as high as 44C in the Guadalquivir valley near Seville on Sunday.

Spain’s highest temperature on record is 49C.

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WEATHER

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.

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