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WEATHER

Is Spain’s suffocating heatwave finally ending?

Temperatures in Spain are beginning to drop on Tuesday July 26th after extreme heat that has consumed most of the country for several weeks. Could the July heatwave finally be over?

Is Spain's suffocating heatwave finally ending?
Temperatures begin to drop in Spain. Photo: CRISTINA QUICLER / AFP

Spain has been experiencing an intense heatwave recently with temperatures in much of the country well above 30°C and even into the low 40s, which has brought about wildfires, more than 1,000 deaths from heatstroke and dangerous conditions for those who work outdoors.

This is the hottest heatwave Spain has experienced since 2003.

Andalusia and Murcia have seen temperatures of up to 45°C, in Valencia the mercury rose to 42°C and Castilla-La Mancha, Aragón and Catalonia had temperatures over 40°C.

According to Spanish weather agency Aemet, it’s been among the three worst heatwaves on record in terms of duration, temperatures and extension across the Spanish territory.

Officially speaking, for scorching weather to be classified as a heatwave, the period of extreme heat must last at least three days and temperatures must exceed seasonal thresholds by 10 percent.

That means that most meteorologists have been referring to it as a ten-day heatwave, although in reality temperatures have remained extremely high for longer still beginning on July 9th (minus some brief and slight temperature drops which ‘ended’ the heatwave technically speaking).

The good news is that from Tuesday July 26th, temperatures will finally begin to drop and the north of the country will experience rainfall and cloudy skies, which should help alleviate the hot conditions in the rest of Spain.

There will be some respite from the scorching heat across most of mainland Spain, but particularly along the Mediterranean coast, the latest data from Spain’s State Meteorological Agency (AEMET) has revealed.

The only place where the temperatures are not expected to drop is the Canary Islands, where they will stay high in an archipelago renowned for relatively mild summers. 

Rainfall has been forecast for Cantabria, the Pyrenees and the north-eastern part of Catalonia, which will help to cool the temperatures in the rest of the country further and send cloud cover further south indicated AEMET.

The extreme red heat warnings will disappear, but the provinces of Seville and Córdoba will still have an orange warning, with temperatures around 40°C.

Yellow temperature warnings are also still in place in Cádiz, Granada, Jaén, Málaga and Huelva.

There could also be yellow alerts in Ávila, Albacete, Cuenca, Ciudad Real, Toledo, Guadalajara, Cáceres, Badajoz and Madrid.

Nighttime temperatures will also drop across the country, making it much easier to sleep over the next week.

However, the mercury will remain between 25°C and 27°C at night in the provincial capital cities of Almería, Barcelona, Jaén, Málaga, Murcia y Valencia.

On Wednesday July 27th, the thermometer will continue to drop in the southwest and northwest of Spain, and on Thursday July 28th some much needed precipitation due to arrive. 

What is the forecast for August?

So far it’s been hard to predict what August will bring after the extreme heat of June and July. Although temperatures are starting to drop across the country, meteorologists predict that temperatures will remain relatively high until August 15th.

However, average daily temperatures are expected to be lower than in July, which if true would certainly be something to celebrate.

As during previous years, weather agencies also predict more summer storms in the last two weeks of August, in coastal areas, in the interior and mountainous areas, which should help to cool the air temperatures further.

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WEATHER

VIDEO: ‘Mini tsunami’ shocks beachgoers in southern Spain 

Holidaymakers in the southern Spanish province of Cádiz were surprised by a sudden wave which in a matter of seconds engulfed the entire beach, dragging and drenching everything in its path. 

VIDEO: 'Mini tsunami' shocks beachgoers in southern Spain 

Beachgoers at Valdelagrana beach in the city of Puerto de Santa María in Cádiz (Andalusia) got a scare on Saturday when a low-height wave engulfed the entire beach without prior warning. 

The phenomenon is referred to as a sneaker wave, a disproportionately large coastal wave which isn’t fully understood by scientists but which is believed to be a consequence of high tides during full moons. 

Within a matter of seconds, the wave either drenched or dragged sun loungers, dustbins, parts of the wooden walkway and people’s belongings as beachgoers rushed away from the beach. 

As can be seen in the videos, despite the wave’s wide expanse and power, the water was only ankle high. 

Nobody was injured as a result of the phenomenon which, although displaying similar traits to a tsunami, cannot officially be classified as such. 

“We reiterate, for the peace of mind of all our residents and visitors who are enjoying the summer holidays in our city, what happened this afternoon on Valdelagrana beach is only a high tide, with the full moon making it reach its highest level”, Puerto de Santa María authorities wrote in response to the bizarre event.

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