A heat wave broke out on Sunday, July 11, in most parts of Spain, with extremely high temperatures, prompting residents and tourists to take refuge in the shade or in the coolness of swimming pools. Across the Atlantic, the western United States is experiencing a second major surge in the thermometer, after the “thermal dome” that hit northwest North America at the end of June.
Spain’s meteorological agency (Aemet) has warned most of the country of a heat wave, with temperatures reaching more than 40 degrees Celsius in Madrid and Seville for the second day in a row. The first episode of sweltering heat in Spain this year is expected to spread eastward on Monday, before temperatures drop. Only a small part of the country’s North Atlantic coast, where the climate is more oceanic, should be spared.
Some survived the scorching heat by turning to the air-conditioned exhibits at Madrid’s famous Prado Museum, which houses works by Rembrandt, Rubens and El Greco. “We thought it would be a good plan for a day like today”, Rosa Alphagimi, 44, testifies as she queues to enter the museum with her husband and 6-year-old daughter. Others went to nearby Retiro Park, which contains an artificial lake, or to municipal swimming pools.
The city’s 19 outdoor pools filled up on Sunday: all tickets were sold out, while their capacity is limited due to health restrictions due to the coronavirus. The authorities recommend that people drink water regularly, wear light clothing and avoid prolonged exposure to the sun. According to meteorologists, temperatures could reach 44 degrees Celsius in the Guadalquivir valley near Seville on Sunday. The highest temperature ever recorded in Spain is 49°C.
New temperature records likely in the US
The United States could break new records in temperatures, as several regions in the west of the country, with a population of 30 million, suffer from a new heat wave, the second in a few weeks.
The thermometer rose over the weekend across much of the Pacific Rim as well as wide areas inland west of the Rocky Mountains, with a mercury rise forecast Sunday. According to the National Weather Service, NWS, Las Vegas equates to an all-time high by hitting 47.2 degrees Celsius, a mark the city in the middle of the Nevada desert reached for the first time in 1942 and three times since 2005.
Meteorologists have issued a warning bulletin for the metropolitan area as well as several other urban centers, including Phoenix and San Jose, in the middle of Silicon Valley, not far from San Francisco. “More than 30 million people have been affected by a high temperature warning or a warning”The NWS said Saturday, adding that dangerously high temperatures and dry conditions are expected to continue on Sunday.
This new heat wave comes less than three weeks after the previous one. that affected the western United States and Canada at the end of June, breaking heat records for three consecutive days in the Canadian province of British Columbia. The number of deaths from this first wave is not yet known but is estimated to be in the hundreds.
Last June was the hottest month on record in North America, according to data from the European Union’s Climate Watch Service. So far, human activity has caused global temperatures to rise by about 1.1°C, leading to more destructive storms, intense heat waves, droughts, and an increase in wildfires. According to the International Meteorological Organization and the UK Met Office, the probability of a global temperature increase of 1.5°C in the next five years is 40%.