February 28, 2021

The recent heat wave, the most suffocating in June in the last 40 years

The last heat wave that has affected the center, north and northeast of the peninsula and the Balearic Islands between June 26 and 30 has been the most suffocating in a month of June in the last four decades, according to a study published on Tuesday by the State Meteorological Agency (Aemet).

The results of this study show "the exceptional intensity of the episode" and also reveal how "heat waves are becoming more frequent and intense in these areas recently affected by extreme heat."

After comparing the temperature data of the past 27, 28 and 29 with the same days of June in the period 1979-2018, it is observed that in 14 capitals some of the values ​​recorded during the heat episode of last month is the highest of the series.

In Barcelona, ​​Zaragoza, Bilbao, Pamplona, ​​San Sebastian, Logroño, Huesca and Burgos the temperature reached during the three critical days of the heat wave was the highest in the series.

It also highlights the situation in Madrid and points of the mountains of Madrid and Torrejón de Ardoz, "where it has never been as hot as in June," and highlights the high values ​​of Vitoria, Lleida, Girona, Soria, Teruel and Guadalajara.

The frequency of transit of masses of warm air in June that give rise to abnormally high temperatures in the areas affected by this heat wave has been almost ten times higher in the first two decades of this century compared to the last two of the previous one, passing from a frequency of every 30.7 years, to 3.7 years.

For extremely hot air masses in June that give rise to "meteorological events" and heat waves the frequency has gone from 100 years in the last two decades of the twentieth century, to only 10 in the first two of this.

The frequency of hot or extremely hot episodes is ten times higher in the first two decades of this century compared to the last two of the twentieth, and the masses of air that fly over the country in summer are 1.3 degrees warmer than in the decade of the eighties except in the Canary Islands where the increase was 1.07 degrees.

According to the AEMET, all these conclusions are "consistent with the forecasts contained in the climate change scenarios that have been taking place for decades".

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