ELCHE AND Alicante were the second and third hottest places in Spain this week, according to figures released by the country’s meteorological department.
On Wednesday, a day of intense heat and scorching sun, the temperature in Elche peaked at 35.2C, with nearby Alicante a fraction behind at 35.1C.
Analysing the data, Jorge Olcina, director of the Laboratory of Climatología of the University of Alicante, explained that the high temperatures are being caused by a westerly wind, bringing intensely hot air from the interior of the country, to the normally cooler coastal areas.
On Wednesday, temperatures failed to drop below 26C throughout the whole day, bringing the hottest night of the year so far to the province.
With sea temperatures at least two degrees warmer than normal for this time of year, owing to the recent prolonged heatwave, the climatologist predicts warmer nights ahead.
Olcina, attempting to predict long range forecasts with members of the Spanish press, said, “Curiously, although daytime temperatures are high and intense, they are not breaking any records” he explained.
“However, night temperatures are unlikely to drop below 22C for the foreseeable future, because the temperature of the Mediterranean water is above 26C at the moment, which will lead to a summer of continuous tropical nights on the coast.” said Olcina.
Health officials are warning that dehydration is the greatest risk on warmer than average nights, when temperatures remain high.
Early warning signs of dehydration are, feeling thirsty and lightheaded; a dry mouth, tiredness, having dark-coloured, strong-smelling urine and passing urine less often than usual.
Babies are particularly vulnerable and may be suffering if they have a sunken soft spot (fontanelle) on their head; have few or no tears when they cry; have fewer wet nappies (nappies will feel lighter) and are extra drowsy.
They suggest keeping a bottle of water with you at all times to sip and re-hydrate throughout the day and to make sure children and older people are well hydrated before they sleep.