Climate Change

Spain records its hottest-ever temperature in 62 years

Hot air moving from North Africa into Europe and a high-pressure weather system are responsible for the current situation in the Iberian country

By DTE Staff
Published: Monday 01 May 2023

On April 27, 2023, Spain recorded its hottest-ever temperature since record-keeping started in 1961. The EU country hit 38.8°C according to the its meteorological service.

According to reports, the spring heatwaves in Spain have slapped the country with temperatures up to 15°C warmer than normal for the month of April. Three years of scant rainfall and high temperatures put the country in a long-term drought only last month.

So, why is this happening?

A combination of multiple factors is responsible for the current situation in Spain. The spring heatwaves in Spain are being caused by a mass of hot air across North Africa pushing heat into Europe, coupled with a high-pressure weather system.

This combination, along with clear skies, makes it easy for sun rays to hit the ground retaining heat and warming up the ground. This will further raise the prospect of early forest fires. In 2022, Spain saw the most land burned of any country in Europe.

The spring heatwaves have also had an impact on the country’s agriculture sector. Spain is the world’s biggest exporter of olive oil, a significant producer of fruits and vegetables for the European market. But the ongoing drought is having an impact on the Spanish olive crops and other staple crops.

This heatwave in Spain is not an isolated event. Temperatures across the world have reached new heights this year with eight countries in central and eastern Europe experiencing their warmest January weather on the day of the new year.

The country of Portugal also saw its highest temperature in 78 years with temperatures in the central town of Mora reaching 36.9°C in the month of April.

Starting in April 2023, a record-breaking heatwave has affected many Asian countries, including India, Bangladesh, China, Thailand and Vietnam. On April 15, 2023, Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh saw its hottest day in 58 years with the temperature crossing a sizzling 40°C.

In India, things are going a little differently. The India Meteorological Department predicted that the month of May will experience cooler than normal weather, which might also get tricky considering the fact that natural heating of the landmass is vital for monsoon onset and distribution.

With the likely arrival of El Nino, these erratic weather patterns are going to get more unpredictable and will have a tremendous impact on the rest of the summer and monsoon seasons.

Subscribe to Daily Newsletter :

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.