The exceptionally early heat wave experienced by Spain will peak on Thursday and Friday with temperature records for the month of April expected, particularly in the south of the country.
"It is very likely that the peak of this episode will be reached on Thursday and Friday," said the Spanish meteorological agency (Aemet), according to which "many temperature records" were already broken on Wednesday.
The "mass of very hot and dry air coming from North Africa", which causes this heat wave, has caused temperatures since the start of the week to rise to "levels worthy of summer and exceptionally high for the period," the agency added.
On Thursday, the thermometer could thus rise to 32-34 degrees in the south of the country and even up to 37 degrees in the Guadalquivir river valley, according to Aemet, which revised its forecasts downwards after mentioning 40 degrees in beginning of the week.
The thermometer has already reached or exceeded 37 degrees on Wednesday at three weather stations in the provinces of Seville and Huelva, in Andalusia (south), Aemet reported.
This heat wave comes as Spain is experiencing an abnormally hot and dry spring, a catastrophic situation for agriculture, the mainstay of the Spanish economy.
According to Coag, the main farmers' union, 60% of Spanish farmland is currently "choked" by the lack of rainfall.
Faced with this situation, the Spanish government asked the European Commission on Tuesday to activate the "crisis reserve" of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) to help its farmers and announced tax boosts at the same time.
A European country on the front line in the face of climate change, with nearly 75% of its territory in the process of desertification according to the UN, Spain had experienced its hottest year on record last year, with several heat waves in from May, according to Aemet.
27/04/2023 12:29:52 - Madrid (AFP) - © 2023 AFP