Indeed, the heat that Spain went through in July has been very extraordinary. Out of the ordinary. What was a sensation has been corroborated by scientific data: the past month has become the hottest ever recorded with instruments in the country. Its average temperature has been the highest measured since 1961. Not for a July, but for any month. The average has been 25.6ºC, which is 2.7ºC higher than the average between 1981 and 2010.
Spain needs almost twice as much air conditioning to combat severe heat as it did 40 years ago
“Extremely warm” has been the rating given this Monday by the State Meteorological Agency. The previous global temperature record was recent, in July 2015, which underpins the trend already exposed by the Aemet: global warming and the climate crisis have led to longer, hotter summers punctuated by temperature peaks in Spain.
By areas, in Galicia, central and southern Castilla y León, Community of Madrid, Extremadura, western Castilla-La Mancha and in points in the interior of Andalusia and the Pyrenees, the “thermal anomaly”, that is, the difference between the average history and what has been measured has reached 4ºC.
“The maximum daily temperatures were on average 3.3 °C above the normal value, while the minimum were 2.2 °C above the average,” reports the Agency after reviewing its measuring stations.
In addition, in that month the “most important heat wave since there are records” was experienced in the Iberian Peninsula and the Balearic Islands. It was the longest, most intense, and second longest on record. It affected 40 provinces and had an average temperature of 4.8ºC higher. In the Canary Islands they had two heat waves in July.
Severe heat has serious effects on people’s health. Each heat wave implies a multiplication of mortality in Spain. Those of this course have confirmed that relationship already endorsed previously. A mortality that, in addition, affects more people with low income. The heat kills and it does it more to the poor.
The temperatures have not given up. In fact, the Aemet considers that the hot episode that is active right now is on the way to being declared a “heat wave” that began on July 30 and will last at least until August 9.