The start of October in Spain this year has been the warmest since records began, the country’s meteorological agency AEMET said on Monday, with nearly 40% of weather stations recording maximum temperatures above 32C. The unseasonable heat is likely to last over a week, the weather agency said.
The early autumn season is so far offering Spaniards little respite after a summer with four heatwaves spread out over 24 days, part of a global pattern of rising temperatures that is widely attributed by scientists to human activity.
‘In most of the Iberian Peninsula, temperatures on 1 October were between seven and 14 degrees above normal for this time of the year,’ said AEMET spokesperson Ruben del Campo, adding almost 100 individual records had been beaten on Sunday.
Lugo, Ourense, Soria, Burgos, Valladolid, Ávila, Segovia, Salamanca, Zamora, Getafe, Toledo, Cáceres, Ciudad Real, Jaén, Córdoba, Granada, Sevilla, Cuenca, Teruel, Pamplona, Zaragoza and Lleida were among the cities where record temperatures for October have been set in the first two days of the month.
Spain’s capital also recorded its highest October temperature: 33C at Madrid’s Barajas Airport.
Two cities in south-central Spain, Badajoz (in Extremadura) and Montoro (in the north of Andalusia), broke the heat record for continental Spain during the month of October with 38C and 38.2C respectively. The previous record was 37.5C, documented in the resort city of Marbella in October 2014.
The weather station at Madrid’s iconic Retiro Park (main photo), which is over a century old, equalled its October record of 30C set in 1930.
‘The footprint of climate change is manifested in the fact that such warm spells are now much more frequent and more intense,’ Del Campo told Spanish state broadcaster TVE.
He added that future summers would not only be hotter, but also longer, extending into the traditionally mild and rainy autumn.
Spain, which had its hottest year on record in 2022, has been in the grip of successive heatwaves this year which got off to an unusually early start in April, exacerbating an ongoing drought.
Experts say the recurring heatwaves, which have been getting longer and more intense, are a consequence of climate change.
The Iberian Peninsula is bearing the brunt of climate change in Europe, with droughts and wildfires becoming more and more common.
El 2 de octubre se volvieron a batir récords de temperatura en España para octubre. Destaca Bilbao, que superó el anterior registro por más de 3 ºC. Otras seis estaciones superaron el récord previo, que era del día anterior.— AEMET (@AEMET_Esp) October 3, 2023