Temperatures around 30°C were recorded on Thursday January 25 in Spain, affected by a heat wave worthy of the start of summer in the middle of January, announced the meteorological agency (Aemet). According to her, the thermometer rose to 29.4°C on Thursday afternoon in the Valencia region and to 27.8°C in Murcia (south-east). Several local temperature records for the month of January were also broken across the country.

In the small ski resort of Puerto de Navacerrada, located in the Madrid region, at an altitude of 1,900 meters, the thermometer did not fall below 10°C during the night from Wednesday to Thursday.

These are temperatures “proper to the middle or end of June”, that is to say “summer”, underlined on the social network X the spokesperson for Aemet, Ruben del Campo , referring to an “anomaly”.

According to David Corell, researcher at the University of Valencia, this heat in the middle of winter is caused by the presence of a powerful anticyclone above the Mediterranean. “There are no studies yet that have evaluated the long-term trend of this type of event, but it is clear that we are experiencing this type of abnormal situation more and more frequently,” he explained. .

The south-east of France is not spared. On Wednesday then Thursday, monthly maximum temperature records were reached along the Mediterranean, from Aude to Var, as well as in the Hautes-Pyrénées, above 22°C.

Chronic drought in Andalusia and Catalonia

Accustomed to high temperatures, Spain is faced with increasingly numerous and frequent heat episodes, sometimes outside the summer months, which worry scientists. The country has already recorded unusually high temperatures in December, with a peak of 29.9°C in Malaga, in Andalusia (south), a national record for the month of December.

These heat waves occur in a context of severe drought, particularly in Andalusia and Catalonia (east), where the authorities have implemented restrictive measures for water consumption, after three years of low rainfall.

In Catalonia, the level of reservoirs, which store rainwater for use in drier months, fell to 17% of capacity in mid-January. If it falls below 16%, which appears imminent, authorities will have no choice but to declare a state of emergency, with additional restrictions.