This Sunday around six in the afternoon, the station of the State Meteorological Agency (Aemet) of Montoro (Córdoba) has registered a maximum of 38.2 °, a provisional record pending to be validated on Monday, but which means beating by 0.7 ° the maximum temperature record of mainland Spain and the Balearic Islands for October. The previous heat ceiling this month was 37.5°, which it made in the Malaga town of Marbella on October 22, 2014. The second highest maximum, just two tenths below Montoro and also above the previous record, was measured in Badajoz, followed by Carmona (Seville) with 37.5°, and Andújar (Jaén) with 37.3°. In addition to the absolute maximum of the month, many localities have knocked down their ephemeris.
This day, the worst of an episode of exceptionally high temperatures that began on Thursday and which does not see a clear end date, Aemet has activated its first heat warnings in October since the national plan for prediction and monitoring of adverse phenomena (Meteoalerta) was created in 2016. These are yellow warnings – the lowest on a scale of three – in Cantabria, Galicia and the Basque Country, which occur in the same year in which, also for the first time, warnings for high temperatures were launched in April, so the window of extreme heat increasingly frequent that Spain suffers extends from full spring to midautumn.
This time is not a heat wave, even if temperatures are exceptionally high
Montoro is once again crowned as one of the warmest cities in the country. It held the absolute national maximum, 47.4° in August 2021, until the following year it was snatched by another Cordovan municipality, La Rambla, with 47.6°. For its part, Andújar, where forecasts pointed to a maximum of 37 ° but that in previous days reached 39 °, had until this Sunday the second highest maximum of October in the whole country, 37.4 ° on October 2, 2004. "The monthly average is 25°", contextualizes the printer Antonio Lomas, who has been monitoring the Aemet observatory since that year in this town of 37,000 inhabitants in the upper course of the Guadalquivir, known for being the cradle of the lynx and for its oil, with the Koipe factory at the head.
"The maximum of Andújar is at 45.5° in August, but what is really significant is not this peak, but the persistence and constancy of 40°, last summer, for 25 days in a row, it made from 40º to 45º", highlights Lomas. "The average temperature has also increased a lot, and the minimums have skyrocketed, now they reach 27 °," he explains, to point out that summers "have lengthened a lot" and now go from April, already with 38 °, until mid-October or even November. Despite the tremendous heat, in the village there was and is "zero alarm". "There is no pain, we are from Andújar', says the people of guasa when asked about the heat, but many are not aware that this is not the same heat as always, it is more and for longer," concludes the local collaborator of Aemet.
🔴LAST MINUTE: Badajoz-Airport beats RECORD of maximum temperature for a month of #octubre: 36.4ºC! It is the highest maximum since data is available (1955!!).
If you are under 68 years old (at least), we have just lived the warmest 1st half of October of our entire lives. pic.twitter.com/SG5uuD9JjD
— MeteoBadajoz (@MeteoBadajoz) October 1, 2023
Of the same opinion is Mari Carmen López, 62, who is heading this Sunday to mass of one in San Miguel, next to the City Hall, defying the high temperatures. "As the years go by, the heat has become more accentuated. Summers have always been strong, but they didn't last that long, now they're just horrific, and then came very rainy weather and a very cold winter. We have not used the coat for several years or for Christmas, to which is added the problem of water, which is very serious, "he explains. "We have always had veranillos of San Miguel, but we go like this no, never. Normally, in mid-October I already made the change of wardrobe and for the Saints ―which in the town is celebrated by spending the day in Sierra Morena―, with sweatshirts. Now the porridge does not even fancy ―a hot dessert with matalahúva typical of the area that must be taken in this festivity "to be handsome all year round"―", laughs López.
Also attending Mass is Luis Rico, a 71-year-old pharmacist. "This heat already in October has never done it, in life. The traditional thing here was to put on the jacket from the fair, at the beginning of September. Right now we are not in autumn, we are in summer, we have to see the temperatures in proportion and it can be 40% more, "he confirms. "Before when we saw that it was going to do 30° it seemed a barbarity and now we live installed in the 40°".
Meanwhile, the central street Doce de Agosto, pedestrian area up to the flag of tapas bars and still tarnished, does not fit a soul at the time of vermouth. Sita Estudillo and Antoñita Guerrero, retired teachers who do not think to confess their age even remotely, share beer. "No, we do not remember any summers like this nor were they like those of before the summers that are suffering all of Andalusia and almost all of Spain. Even on the seashore it is very embarrassing," they recall. What they miss most are "the Calaeras rains, not like now, which almost does not rain and when it does, it is torrential." In one of the hottest towns in the country, it is difficult to find climate change deniers.
A Monday still hell for October
The whole weekend, as forecasts pointed out, has been deadly, with the Guadalquivir valley as the epicenter of high temperatures. On Saturday, Badajoz marked the highest temperature of the Aemet network, with 37.9°, followed by Seville with 37.5°, Bailén (Jaén) with 37.5° and Andújar with one tenth less in the observatory of the agency, on the banks of the river, but 38.6° in the City Council, in the urban area. And on Friday, in El Granado (Huelva) it reached 39.3°, in Montoro 38.4° and in Seville 38. These are "exceptionally high" and "very unusual" values for this time of year, in fact, they are those of August. In almost all of Spain, the thermometers mark throughout the weekend and on Monday, when the peak of the episode ends, between 10º and 15° above normal, especially in the northern half.
🔴 #ÚLTIMAHORA | Provisionally, the #Madrid-Retiro station equals its maximum temperature record for the month of October, with 30.0ºC.El Puerto de #Navacerrada, very far from urban areas, beats monthly record with 23.9ºC. Extraordinary heat.
— MeteoMadrid (@carlosweder_) October 1, 2023
On Monday there will still be a very hot day ahead, with Cantabria and the Basque Country under yellow warning. According to the spokesman of Aemet, Rubén del Campo, "a thermal decrease is expected in Galicia and in the Mediterranean area", but temperatures will rise and much in the eastern Cantabrian, while "in the rest of the country there will be no changes". Therefore, temperatures "will be similar in general to those of Sunday, except 2°-3° less in the Mediterranean and Galicia and "clearly higher in cities such as Bilbao, which could even exceed 35°, and in Santander and San Sebastian, which could be around 32°".
At the moment, Aemet still does not put a date at the end of this episode, although on Tuesday there are no active warnings for heat. "From this day, there is more uncertainty about the evolution of the episode," confesses the meteorologist. It will probably cool in the northern half, especially in the Bay of Biscay, where "the drop could be 8° or 10° in a day". However, "it doesn't look like there are going to be significant changes in the rest."
It seems that from Wednesday and in the following days there may be "rises and falls in temperatures according to the areas and days", but "it is most likely that unusually high temperatures will continue in much of the Peninsula for most of the week". In the Canary Islands, the heat will also be unusual next week, from 32° to 34° in large areas and calima.