This Tuesday marked an extraordinary weather event in Spain, as it witnessed the hottest 3rd of October since at least 1950. This scorching day also marked the fifth consecutive day of record-breaking warmth, a phenomenon noted by the spokesperson for the State Meteorological Agency (AEMET), Rubén del Campo. Unfortunately, the heatwave in the Canary Islands is expected to persist.
Specifically, the highest temperatures were recorded in the Canary Islands, where they soared above 38 degrees Celsius (ºC). Maspalomas and Tasarte in Gran Canaria experienced temperatures of 38.1ºC and 38.8ºC, respectively. Tenerife South reached 39.4ºC, surpassing the previous October record set on the 14th of October 2017 at 38.6ºC.
On the Spanish mainland, the highest temperatures were in Andalusia, with readings hovering around 37ºC in El Granado (Huelva), La Roda de Andalucía, Seville, and Córdoba. In stark contrast, the Bay of Biscay experienced an extraordinary temperature drop. For instance, Bilbao’s temperature plummeted from 37ºC on Monday to 23ºC on Tuesday, a decrease of 14 degrees Celsius.
Del Campo noted that the northern third and Mediterranean regions experienced more typical seasonal temperatures. However, most of the interior of the peninsula saw maximum temperatures on Tuesday, 3rd October, ranging from 7 to 11ºC higher than normal for this time of year, resembling late August or early September more than early October.
Early Wednesday morning also brought unusually high temperatures. In Agaete (Gran Canaria), the minimum temperature did not drop below 31.6ºC until 8 am, a sweltering night even by summer standards. Many stations in the Canary Islands saw minimum temperatures above 25ºC during the early morning hours. On the Spanish mainland, Osuna (Seville), Cabo de Gata (Almeria), and Figueras (Gerona) didn’t drop below 22ºC.
Del Campo warned that temperatures in the Canary Islands are expected to rise even further on Wednesday, especially in the western islands, where they may exceed 34 or 35ºC in many areas. In the south of Gran Canaria, there’s a significant risk of temperatures exceeding 37ºC.
Unprecedented heatwave to last at least a week in the Canary Islands
This October heatwave is unprecedented, as it marks the first time that an orange warning for high temperatures has been activated in Spain in October since the launch of the meta-alert plan in 2006. Del Campo expects the unusually high temperatures to persist in the Canary Islands for at least another week.
On the mainland, the abnormally hot weather will continue for the remainder of the week and possibly into the next week. Maximum temperatures will be between 5 and 10 degrees above normal for the season in most of the territory, except on the Mediterranean coast, where temperatures will be more typical.
Del Campo anticipates a slight temperature drop in the east and south of the peninsula on Monday. However, it’s expected to be a temporary decrease, as temperatures are likely to rise again afterward.
For the rest of the week, maximum temperatures in the northwest of the peninsula are expected to be between 10 and 15ºC above normal. On Thursday and Friday, temperatures are set to rise once more, exceeding 30ºC in many areas in the Guadalquivir region and reaching 36 or 38ºC in the Guadiana region.
Saturday will see no significant changes, although there may be a slight drop in temperatures in the Mediterranean. On Sunday, temperatures will remain relatively stable, with slight decreases in the east and south. Monday could bring a more noticeable temperature drop in the eastern and southern regions of the peninsula.
Del Campo concludes that the abnormally hot weather is likely to persist until at least Tuesday, and beyond that, it’s difficult to make predictions. However, among various scenarios, the possibility of rain in Galicia and the Cantabrian Sea in the middle of next week cannot be ruled out. Temperatures are expected to become more seasonally appropriate in the north, but anomalous heat could persist in the rest of the country at least until Wednesday.