While it is too cool for April in Switzerland today, Spain and Portugal have weather conditions that are clearly too hot. At several stations, previous April records are likely to be broken, in some cases even significantly!
Today Thursday in Spain up to 38.7 degrees!
The current heat wave in Spain reached its temporary peak today with peak of 38.7 degrees in Córdoba at the airport. This was the absolute April heat record in Spain depending on the source. This is 38.6 degrees in Elche or 39.0 degrees in Orihuela (both 2011).
Below is a table of today's highs in Spain (through 5:20 p.m.).
|Cordoba Aeropuerto||38.7 degrees||Córdoba|
|Fuente Palmera||38.0 degrees||Córdoba|
|Don Benito||37.2 degrees||Badajoz|
|La Rambla||37.0 degrees||Cordoba|
The heat wave also affects Morocco, where records were also broken, especially in Marrakech with 39.6°C (new monthly record).
Tomorrow, Friday, it should be even a touch hotter, then on the weekend the temperatures will slowly go down a bit, but it will remain hot.
A high-pressure ridge over the Iberian Peninsula is currently shoveling very warm African air masses from the south to Spain and Portugal (Fig. 1). The result is high summer temperatures of over 30, sometimes even over 35 degrees. In almost all of Spain, temperatures will thus be around 15 degrees above the climate norm for April (Fig. 2).
Fig. 1: Forecast temperatures at 500 hPa (about 5500 meters) for Thursday, April 27, 2 pm.; Source: UBIMET, MeteoNews
Fig. 2: Temperature anomaly for Thursday, April 27, 8 pm. Almost all of Spain has temperatures about 15 degrees above the climate norm.; Source: Tropical Tidbits
According to AEMET, the Spanish meteorological agency, the previous record holder is Elche with 38.6 degrees (2011). It is possible that this record could be equaled or even broken locally. The following list shows this week's possible maximum temperatures for selected stations compared to the previous April records (source of record values: Agencia Estatal de Meteorología, AEMET).
Expected maximum values
|Previous April record|
|Seville Aeropuerto||37 degrees||35.4 degrees (April 30, 1997)|
|Valencia Aeropuerto||37 degrees||34.8 degrees (April 9, 2011)|
|Granada Aeropuerto||35 degrees||37.7 degrees (April 18, 2017)|
|Madrid, Cuatro Vientos||33 deg.||30.4 degrees (April 29, 2005)|
|Barcelona Aeropuerto||28 degrees||26.5 degrees (April 1, 1926)|
Important: The expected highs refer to the forecast as of April 25, 2023. MeteoNews will keep you updated on the actual temperatures reached.
The warmest phase should fall on Thursday and Friday. Whether 40 degrees can also be reached locally can neither be confirmed nor ruled out from this distance, as this still depends on other factors, such as the degree of cloud cover.
...and tropical nights
Another problem besides the hot days are the balmy nights. As soon as the lowest temperatures do not fall below 20 degrees, we speak of a tropical night. From Thursday on, there should be tropical nights in southern Spain (Fig. 3), which means that the body cannot recover properly from the heat of the day and represents a further burden.
Fig. 3: Forecast low temperatures for Friday, April 29 8 am. Tropical nights are expected in southern Spain.; Source: UBIMET, MeteoNews
Aggravation by the drought
Spain is currently experiencing a precarious drought, which, as things stand, is not expected to ease anytime soon. Not only are the dry soils threatening arable crops and reservoirs, but the lack of soil moisture is also contributing to the heat. If the soils were moist, evaporation processes could lead to cooling by removing latent heat, which would keep the heat from being so extreme. The lack of moisture means that the incident energy from solar radiation is virtually only fed into the sensible heat flux, further increasing air temperatures.
MeteoNews will keep you updated on further developments and record breaks in this blog.