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Spanish heatwave

Spain is currently experiencing an unusually hot heatwave for May as a result of hot air moving up from Africa. Temperatures in Seville reached 45°c yesterday (113°f) which is almost unprecedented so early in the year. France is also feeling the effects of this mass of hot air so if you're travelling to that part of the continent imminently be prepared.

Posted by
5775 posts

Yikes.

All those contemplating trips to southern destinations around the Mediterranean in July and August, take note.

Posted by
13227 posts

David—-could those temperatures have an impact on flight schedules? I have read that flights out of Phoenix AZ are reduced in summer, because planes need reduced loads and more runway to take off when it is that hot.

Posted by
8020 posts

Landings in AZ in the summer are also very turbulent due to heat waves traveling up.

Posted by
2686 posts

The worst of it will be in Aragon and parts of Catalonia. The Madrid-Barcelona high-speed line was temporarily shutdown due to power failure, stranding several hundred people in 100+ degree weather without any AC.

Posted by
5728 posts

It’s not reached Brittany yet! It was 9 degrees at 8am today.

Posted by
5648 posts

That’s very helpful information for those heading imminently to Spain/France and nearby. Lighter clothing - no parka necessary. A reminder, though, that weather can be fickle.

While Colorado, in the middle of the USA, is at a similar latitude to Spain, but with different topography and pretty unaffected by Mediterranean weather patterns, was having record heat over the past week. Then a devastating spring snowstorm hit yesterday. Temperatures dropped about 20°C (more than 40°F) compared to the previous day, and heavy, wet snow dumped on the trees, which had just leafed out. Broken branches everywhere - poor trees, and the trash collectors will be picking up lots of bundled tree debris (if we can get it cleaned up by Monday). Now the sun is back out, and it’s a pretty afternoon, except for the mess in the yards and streets. Maybe Seville or some of France wouldn’t be too bad by comparison, if one was dressed appropriately and further prepared. Good to have a weather report of the conditions.

Posted by
4197 posts

The daily highs have been between 90-95 for the past 5 days in Zaragoza and SOS Del Rey Católico (Aragón). Temperatures are supposed to drop on Monday with highs into the 60s and 70s until next Saturday when they’ll be back into the upper 80s. We’ve modified our outdoor activities to earlier in the day.

Posted by
1945 posts

Not that anyone wants to travel to where I am in Texas, but it sounded about the same for the past few days. Unusually hot temps (108°), for more days in a row, and far earlier than even our normal 100° weather. Plus wildfires….. go to Spain instead.

Posted by
2676 posts

... yet temperatures next week will drop dramatically in some mountainous areas (ie. Vielha in the Catalan Pyrenees, max 28C(82F) today, max 15C(60F) on Wed/Thu) as well as on the coast (Barcelona, max 31C(88F) today, max 23C(73F) on Wed/Thu.

Posted by
5775 posts

@Lola, yep, intense heat can be a issue for flights, though there are multiple factors. Primarily it's heat, plus the elevation of the airport: those two factors reduce performance/capabilities of any aircraft. Also, at airports that have high terrain (mountains) nearby, and/or runways that are not super-long, when it's hot things can get dicey. Airlines can compensate to some extent by "lightening the load" (selling fewer seats or leaving out heavy cargo). But if it gets hot enough and you have other contributing factors, it can get...interesting.

Now, it gets quite hot all around the world, and in many places they shrug off heat that would kill me (or make me just wish I was dead). Modern jet aircraft usually have plenty of power to deal with tricky conditions, but you have to run the numbers (fortunately, all these factors are calculated and the resulting performance hits are 100% predictable). It definitely can get extreme enough to disrupt safe operations. I think the biggest wildcard is airport elevation (which doesn't change). Most major airports in the US west are not that high up (Denver...oops, no, but yeah Phoenix, etc. are lower than 2000' MSL). South of the border, there are some very high airports where heat + elevation can be (and has been) deadly. Mexico City, at around 7300' and Bogota at 8300' require careful consideration when it's hot outside - and then there's Cuzco, Peru at over 10,000', in seriously "thin" air that can make it impossible for some planes to climb...

Barcelona is basically at sea level, Madrid is under 2000' MSL, so I wouldn't worry about that. When it gets really hot, plenty of other things stop working right (and more to the point, when it's that hot you will probably just want to sit in an air conditioned room and hydrate yourself).

Posted by
1294 posts

HYDRATION! Please start watering your bodies 24 hours prior to your flight and stay focused on drinking vast quantities of water. Becoming dehydrated is a hard impact on your body and takes over 24 hours to adequately recover. In high heat you need to protect your body from baking among the furnace created by close quarters from crowds. Take a hat or buy one, but protect the noggin. Dive into El Cort Ingles department store to window shop and dose your body with their AC.
Reduce your alcohol intake and increase the amount of fruits consumed.

Posted by
337 posts

I was actually in Seville on Friday. It “only” got to 102. Still quite hot, although it was overcast all day, so the direct rays didn’t get you, it just felt like walking around inside an oven. It was a one-day event and temps are going back down now. I’m in Granada now and it’s in the 80’s. The temps for this week are predicted to be in a more normal zone.

Posted by
216 posts

Up here in the north the heat wave is gone and we are currently in wonderful 24ºC, in the 70ºsF, and next week it´ll be similar temperatures. With a bit of rain, of course!!

Posted by
5775 posts

Denver, aka the Mile High City, airport, is not 'lower than 2000' Ft

I stand corrected -- I was looking at the field elevation in meters (1656 meters, 5433 feet) for DEN. Yep, that's up there.

Posted by
2676 posts

Have to say the "problem" in many coastal areas isn't the heat in itself... is the combination of heat, humidity and lack of wind.

For example, today in the outskirts of Barcelona, at the natural park of Collserola, we've peaked at 34C/93F. But, despite being bl00dy hot, since the humidity was barely 22-30% and there was a breeze (hot air, but a breeze nevertheless), the heat wasn't as much unbearable as it is when it colludes with the other two factors and you end up with high temperature, high humidity and no breeze. Then, even the shade doesn't help! But again, downtown among the cement buildings it was probably much more unbearable.

PS: Mikel, there's no word in Euskera for "heatwave", it's an alien concept up there, you lucky #%*)(&!!!! 😋😘

Posted by
216 posts

PS: Mikel, there's no word in Euskera for "heatwave", it's an alien concept up there, you lucky #%*)(&!!!! 😋😘

Hahahaha, we do have some heatwaves, it´s the worst half hour of our lives!! :)