European record under attack in this exceptional heat wave in Spain

By: maxcrc , 2:24 PM GMT on August 10, 2012

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An unprecedented isotherm of 30C is crossing Southern Spain while the current value of the 850hpa over the capital Madrid is 28.0C, only 4 decimals from its radiosonde record of 28.4C set in July 1995, but in the next hours it will be overtaken.
The +25C at 850hpa should cross over southern France by tomorrow.
The temperatures at soil level will be heavily dependent on the ventilation.
Current highest national temperature is 46.0C near Jaen (net of regional stations of the Junta de Andalucia) but it will rise around 48C in the next hours.
We can expect several new all-time records , with a potential new European record and a new record for the capital Madrid, the records could be widespread from South to North , mainly in the areas affected by downslope winds.
Old books cite old records of Seville of 50C and 51C, but those readings were highly affected by overexposure conditions (Stevenson Screen was not in use and the thermometer was placed on a Cathedral roof). Modern highest temperatures in Spain are 47.2C at Murcia in 1994 among the main national stations and 48.0C in 1994 and 1995 in three other stations (Totana,Montoro and Utrera) between Murcia and Andalusia provinces.
More doubtful are other values between 48C and 50C set in July 1978 in secondary stations and the 49.0C at Arahal,near Seville also in July 1995 (it looks too high compared to the values of the stations immediately north,south,east and west of it).
Italian regional station of Catenanuova, in Sicily holds the current record with 48.5C set on 10 August 1999, during the greatest heat wave ever in the Mediterranean, with an isotherm of 30C at 850hpa "hugging" the whole island of Sicily.
The station -despite being a not WMO station- belongs to the official regional net of Osservatorio delle Acque and its value has been validated by the UCEA and Protezione Civile organs of the Italian government.

This 2012 has been a very hot and dry summer so far in Southern Europe and in the Balkans, while rainy, cool and foggy weather has prevailed in Northern Europe, between Scandinavia and the British Islands.

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2. maxcrc
2:18 PM GMT on August 14, 2012
Update 14 Aug: After the hundreds of all time records and the almost world record of minimum temperature over 2000 feet of altitude, for this weekend a new strong heatwave will sweep Spain and Southern-Central France.
In many areas it will be far hotter than during the past heatwave. Southern France will experience a strong entrance of a mass of heat air, with temperatures above 40C in some parts of the South.
Member Since: February 9, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 142
1. maxcrc
8:14 PM GMT on August 10, 2012
Update: Madrid Observatory absolute record was beaten today with 40.6C, plus dozens of other records.
The European record of Catenanuova is still unbeaten, but tomorrow it will be another extremely hot day in Spain.
Member Since: February 9, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 142

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About maxcrc

Maximiliano is a climatologist specialized in climate and microclimates studies and focused in deep quality checks in historical statistics