Spain records hottest ever day in April as temperatures rise to 39C after blistering heatwave hits country

A weather expert said temperatures “are completely out of control this year” and the heatwave in Spain is “absolutely extreme”

Spain has hit its hottest ever temperature for April on Thursday reaching 38.8C according to the country’s meteorological service.

A blistering heatwave has hit the country for days with temperatures 10C to 15C warmer than expected for April.

The record figure was reached in Cordoba airport in southern Spain just after 15:00 local time (14:00 BST).

Cayetano Torres, a spokesman for Spain’s meteorological office, told BBC News that the temperatures “are completely out of control this year”.

Maximiliano Herrera, a climatologist who runs an Extreme Temperatures twitter account, said: "This heat event in Spain is absolutely extreme, unprecedented with temperatures never seen before in April.

“In some locations records are being beaten by a 5C margin, which is something that has happened only a handful of times at weather stations around the world.”

Schools will be allowed to adapt their timetables to avoid the worst of the heat, and the Madrid underground has trains passing more frequently than usual to prevent long waits on the platform.

Public swimming pools are expected to open a month earlier than normal.

Spain records hottest ever April day as ‘unprecedented’ temperatures hit 39C. (Photo: AFP via Getty Images) Spain records hottest ever April day as ‘unprecedented’ temperatures hit 39C. (Photo: AFP via Getty Images)
Spain records hottest ever April day as ‘unprecedented’ temperatures hit 39C. (Photo: AFP via Getty Images)

The hot weather has been driven by a mass of very hot air from Africa, coupled with a slow moving weather system.

Hot weather across North Africa is pushing heat into Europe while a  high pressure weather system plus clear skies over the Iberian peninsula is allowing more sunshine to hit the dry ground.

The high temperatures come on top of a long running drought in many parts of Spain.

Reservoirs in the Guadalquivir basin are only at 25% of capacity, and it is raising the prospect of early forest fires with warnings large parts of the country would be at risk.

According to experts, climate change is very likely playing a role in this heatwave.

Dr Samantha Burgess from the Copernicus climate change service told BBC News: "We know that 2022 was the second warmest year on record for Europe, and it was the warmest summer on record.

"Europe is warming at twice the global rate and we know because there is a higher rate of warming, there’s a higher probability of extreme events. And those extreme events include heat waves."

All across the world there have been high temperatures in the first few months of the year.

Eight countries in central and eastern Europe set new records for the warmest January weather on the very first day of this year.

While countries across Asia have seen extreme heat in recent weeks. In northwest Thailand, the temperature hit 45.4C on 15 April.

In Bangladesh, the capital Dhaka saw temperatures rise above 40C, believed to be the hottest day in 58 years.

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