Spain is facing a record-high heat wave in May, soaring up to 16 C degrees above average temperatures, according to the national weather agency AEMET. For instance, the Southern city of Jaén in Andalucía recorded 40.3 degrees Celsius last Friday.
In the morning, temperatures in many areas did not drop below 25 degrees Celsius, which the agency finds “practically unheard of in the peninsula in May.” Then, at night, the city of Segovia experienced its first “tropical night” in May, a term for when temperatures don’t fall below 20 degrees Celsius.
Spain isn’t the only country dealing with high temperatures this early – India, Pakistan and even some parts of the US are dealing with what scientists believe to be climate change-induced heat waves.
“This episode is very unusual for mid-May and could be one of the most intense episodes in the last 20 years,” said Ruben del Campo, spokesperson for Spain’s national weather agency AEMET.
“This year it seems to have gone directly to summer, but we have to keep going," said Rocio Vazquez, a 58-year-old street sweeper in Madrid. “It’s scorching, but it’s our job and has to be done."