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16th Jun 2022

Severe weather warning issued as Spanish heatwave continues

Sarah McKenna Barry

The government has issued health warnings about the heat.

As a heatwave continues to move across Spain there are concerns that the mercury could reach 50 degrees, which would be a new record for the country.

The heatwave is also affecting southern France and Portugal.

Earlier this week, Graham Keeley, the Spain correspondent for Newstalk, spoke to Pat Kenny about his concerns.

He said: “It’s a cloud of hot air, essentially, from North Africa, from the Sahara, which has blown over Spain and parts of southern France.

“Temperatures have already reached the early 40s in parts of southern Spain.”

He continued: “What is alarming is that the forecasters here are saying we could see temperatures rising as high as 50C.

“What is exceptional about what is happening now is that it is happening before summer has even started officially. It starts officially on the 21st.

“So, this is the earliest heatwave for 40 years – since 1981. This is quite something.”

Mr Keeley also said that one man has died in Almeria in the south of Spain while out walking in the hills.

Residents and tourists alike have been urged to drink plenty of water, to avoid exercise, wear suncream and to stay in cool places as much as possible. There is also a risk of wildfires in certain regions.

As RTÉ reports, 17 regions in Spain are on orange alert, which is the second highest possible level, and temperatures are expected to continue to exceed 40 degrees.

Last month was the hottest May the country has seen in fifty years.

The heatwave in Europe is one of many heatwaves the world has seen in recent months due to climate change. India and Pakistan were hit with extreme heatwaves earlier this year. For India, March saw the highest average temperatures in 122 years, while April was Pakistan’s hottest and second-driest month since 1961.