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Heatwave sweeps Spain as Britain braces for rising temperatures

#Heatwave #sweeps #Spain #Britain #braces #rising #temperatures

Spain and Portugal sweltered in their second heatwave in a month on Monday, with searing temperatures also expected in France and Britain in the coming days.

In Spain, the southern city of Seville recorded the highest temperature on Monday, with mercury hitting 42.4 degrees Celsius (108.3 Fahrenheit), according to Spanish weather agency AEMET.

Temperatures were approaching 42 degrees Celsius in the eastern cities of Badajoz and Merida, she added.

“This heatwave really has the potential to be extraordinary,” said AEMET spokesman Ruben del Campo.

The current rise in temperature started on Sunday and could last “nine or 10 days, making it one of the three longest heatwaves Spain has experienced since 1975,” he told AFP.

Heat waves have become more frequent due to climate change, scientists say. As global temperatures rise over time, heat waves are expected to intensify.

Spain also struggled in June with temperatures exceeding 40°C in parts of the country.

The previous month was Spain’s hottest May since the beginning of the century.

In August 2021, Spain recorded its highest temperature ever when the mercury reached 47.4°C in the southern town of Montoro.

Meteorologists do not rule out that this record will be broken in the coming days.

The increased temperatures were accompanied by a lack of precipitation.

Reservoirs in Spain were at 45.3 percent of capacity on Monday, well below the 65.7 percent average recorded for the same period over the past decade.

In neighboring Portugal, temperatures soared to over 44C over the weekend, sparking wildfires and huge plumes of smoke visible in the capital Lisbon.

Firefighters brought the largest blaze under control on Monday after it burned through parts of the central municipality of Ourem, local officials said.

– ‘Maximum Risk’ –

While temperatures eased somewhat in Portugal on Monday, they should rise again in the coming days, with 44C for the southeastern city of Evora.

“In the coming days we will see conditions of maximum risk,” Prime Minister Antonio Costa said.

“The slightest inattention could lead to a fire of considerable proportions.”

A front of hot air began to pour into France on Monday, with mercury rising above 30C in much of the country, according to national weather forecaster Meteo-France.

Temperatures could reach 39C in some parts of France on Tuesday, she added.

The heat wave is expected to peak between Saturday and next Tuesday, said Sebastien Leas of Meteo-France.

The UK issued an extreme heat warning on Monday, with temperatures expected to hit more than 30C across much of England and Wales.

The extreme heat warning has been classified as “amber”, the second highest warning level, indicating a “high impact” on daily life and people.

The Met Office’s deputy chief meteorologist Rebekah Sherwin said the UK highs would continue into early next week.

“From Sunday to Monday, temperatures in the south east (of England) are likely to be above 35C, although the details are still uncertain,” she said.

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