Temperatures creep up as heat wave brews in Spain, Portugal

(Update 1: Adds detail from Portugal, alters headline)

Madrid, Jul 11 (EFE).- Spain is braced for its second heat wave of the year with temperatures expected to surpass 44C (111 F) in some southern cities as a mass of hot air from Africa settles over the Iberian Peninsula.

Thermometers began to creep up in Spain on Monday and are likely to stay above 35C across most of the country between Tuesday and Thursday, said Rubén Del Campo, spokesman for Spain’s meteorological service Aemet.

There will be little respite at night, as temperatures are set to remain above 20C in much of the nation.

Cities such as Córdoba, in Andalusia, and Badajoz, in Extremadura, two of Spain’s hottest regions, could swelter under temperatures nearing 44C, according to Aemet forecasts.

The majority of Spain’s regions, save for some coastal areas in the north and on the Mediterranean, will fall under orange or yellow weather alerts denoting “significant risk” and “risk” of high temperatures.

A rare red alert for “extreme risk” of high temperatures has been issued for a province of Galicia on the Portuguese border, where the mercury could hit 42C, which is abnormal for the traditionally cooler region.

The heat wave comes with Spain on high alert for wildfires.

Firefighters in La Rioja, a northern region famed for its wine, on Monday brought a wildfire at Mount Yerga under control.

A heat wave in June fueled a ferocious fire in Sierra de la Culebra, one of Europe’s most important wolf habitats.

Neighboring Portugal boosted its alert levels over the risk of wildfires.

Over one hundred fires were reported in recent days, where 1,500 firefighters continue their extinction efforts on 30 blazes, although none are of “significance,” according to

André Fernandes, commander of Portugal’s civil protection service ANEPC.

The high temperatures, however, make it more likely that the blazes could reactivate, he added.

The Iberian heat wave is set to push up through Europe, rocketing temperatures in France and later southern parts of England, including London. EFE


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