Spain travel warning as holiday spots brace for scorching heatwave
The extreme weather will affect tourists visiting some of Spain’s most popular holiday spots, with temperatures forecast to remain higher than usual over the next three months.
Which destinations are affected?
Parts of the country are forecast to reach highs of 45C this week, with the hottest temperatures expected in central and south-western Spain.
The most intense heat will be felt in Costa del Sol, the Canary Islands and the Balearic islands, which include the much-loved tourist spots of Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Majorca and Ibiza.
Aemet, the Spanish state’s meteorological agency, has said temperatures are expected to be 60% warmer in the Canary Islands, while in the Balearics the weather is forecast to be 70% hotter than normal.
Inland temperatures in Majorca are forecast to reach between 38C and 39C this week, while Seville already recorded highs of 40C over the weekend.
The heat has been increasing across the Iberian peninsula this weekend, with Spain and Portugal experiencing temperatures in the low 40s during the peak afternoon hours, while an orange weather warning was issued for Andalusia after temperatures hit 44C.
Local authorities in the Canary Islands have launched an emergency heat prevention plan, which is set to last until 15 September, and a surveillance system to assess the impact of high temperatures on the health of the population has been put in place.
Healthcare centres are also on high alert to deal with a potential influx of patients affected by the intense heat.
Aemet said: “The heat will be very intense on the mainland and in the Balearics at least until next Wednesday and it is not ruled out that it could extend for a couple of days.
"The intense heatwave is very rare for the month of June.
"As of Thursday, we will exceed 35C in large areas of the Peninsula, more than 30C to 32C in the Balearic Islands and the south of the Canary Islands."
Advice for tourists
Holidaymakers heading to Spain this summer are advised to stay in the shade as much as possible to avoid suffering heat exhaustion or heatstroke, and should keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
Heat exhaustion is the precursor to heatstroke and is the body’s response to overheating, often caused by a loss of water and salt.
It is not a serious condition but it can lead to headaches, dizziness and nausea. Symptoms will generally improve once the body cools down.
If not treated, heat exhaustion can develop into heatstroke, the most serious heat-related condition, which can see body temperatures rise to 40C or higher.
To help prevent the risk of heatstroke, tourists can take the following precautions:
- Drink plenty of cold drinks, especially when exercising- Take cool baths or showers- Wear light-coloured, loose clothing- Sprinkle water over skin or clothes- Avoid the sun between 11am and 3pm- Avoid excess alcohol- Avoid extreme exercise