Spain Confronts Extreme Temperatures From Early Summer Heat Wave

(Bloomberg) -- Temperatures in Spain will reach unusually high levels for this time of the year amid a heat wave that’s expected to take thermometers above 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) in some parts of the country.

The heat wave, caused by a mass of hot and dry air coming from North Africa, will reach its peak between Friday and Saturday, Spain’s meteorological agency Aemet said on Tuesday. Temperatures in some parts of Morocco also will hit 40°C this week, according to the country’s weather agency.

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“It’s really extreme, we’re talking about temperatures 10 to almost 20 degrees Celsius above the average for May in some places,” said Francisco Doblas-Reyes, a researcher based in Barcelona and a contributor to the United Nations’ latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report. “It’s not just the intensity, but the duration of it, too.”

The heat wave adds to a long list of extreme weather events in recent weeks that show the impact of climate change. Dangerous temperatures have hit the south and central U.S. this month, while a separate heat wave is impacting India and Pakistan. Such events have become more frequent and will persist as the planet warms, according to the latest assessment by UN-backed scientists.