Barcelona swelters through hottest night on record

Barcelona swelters through hottest night on record

Fabra observatory in Catalan capital sees overnight low of 29.4C (85F)

Alyssa McMurtry

OVIEDO, Spain (AA) – The city of Barcelona registered its hottest night on record, Spain’s meteorological service confirmed on Thursday.

The Fabra Observatory, which has been tracking the temperature in the Catalan capital for 110 years, saw an overnight low of 29.4C (85F) on Wednesday. That shatters the previous low of 27.8C, which was registered in 2003.

With the suffocating temperatures, Barcelona’s beaches were full of sleepless residents and visitors who chose to cool off in the sea.

During the day, the situation was hardly less dramatic. Maximum temperatures at the Fabra Observatory hit 38.8C – the third highest on record, though the day felt even hotter due to high humidity. The record high temperature of 39.8C in the Barcelona observatory was set in 1982.

Earlier this week, the city of Barcelona activated a heat alert, sending text messages to vulnerable people about how to protect themselves from the heat and handing out water and hats to people living on the street.

Things were worse further south. The Ebro Observatory in the Catalan province of Tarragona saw the mercury soar to 43.9C on Wednesday. It is the highest temperature observed since record-keeping began in 1880.

Meanwhile, dozens of other cities across Spain saw temperatures above 40C, several breaking records.

Spain has been under a uniquely brutal heat wave. Spokesperson of Spain’s meteorological agency Aemet, Jose Luis Camacho, told El Pais that a heat wave this intense and long has never been seen so late in the year.

Three days of the heat wave will go in history as the hottest days in Spain since records going back to 1950. Wednesday was the hottest day registered in Spain so far this year, with an average of 29C – well above the expected 22C for this time of the year.

While the country continues to languish under one more day of heat, Aemet said most of the population should prepare for a sharp drop in temperatures on Friday. By Sunday, Barcelona is expected to see highs of just 28C, along with much needed rain.

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