Despite all-time record heat, it’s been a cool summer for Spain & Portugal

Written by on August 10, 2018 in Rest of Europe with 0 Comments

Last week saw some of the hottest ever weather affect Spain and Portugal and for several places it indeed was the hottest ever observed despite national records remaining intact.

Excerpt from

Portugal and Spain. Portugal’s capital city Lisbon hit 111.2°F (44°C) on Saturday, its hottest temperature ever recorded. The previous record was 109.4°F (43°C) in 1981. Portugal’s weather service said new all-time highs were recorded at 26 of the 96 weather stations in the country, including all three weather stations in Lisbon, and more than 60 percent of the nation registered temperatures over 104°F (40°C). The hottest temperature in Portugal was 116.2°F (46.8°C) at Alvega in the center of the country, which fell short of the all-time Portugese record of 117.3°F (47.4°C ) set on August 1, 2003 at Amareleja. According to weather records expert Maximiliano Herrera, in Spain, three out of the six weather stations in the capital of Madrid beat their all-time heat records on August 3, as did Reus, Spain, with 103.6°F (39.8°C). Three heat-related deaths were reported in Spain.

Herrera said that the most impressive record from the heat wave was an almost-unimaginable 113.9°F (45.5°C) measured at Setubal, Portugal–the highest temperature ever recorded on the coast of the Iberian Peninsula, trouncing the previous record by an remarkable margin. And on Sunday morning, August 5, a horribly hot minimum temperature of 89.8°F (32.1°C) occurred at Portalegre, Portugal–only 0.1°C from the national record of highest minimum set at Faro on July 26, 2004. Lisbon also set its record of highest minimum ever: 82.8°F (28.2°C) at Gago Coutinho, and 82.4°F (28.0°C) at the Geofisico Observatory, now part of the Instituto Dom Luiz (period of record since 1901). Their previous record was 82.0°F (27.8°C) on August 2, 1964. In the tweet below, weather records expert Etienne Kapikian summarized some significant stations that set new all-time maximum temperature records in Portugal on August 4:

Interestingly but not surprisingly, the spring and summer of 2018 has been on the cool side across much of the Iberian peninsula as low pressure has been trapped beneath higher pressure up over the UK during the first half. It’s often the case that when it’s cool and unsettled across the UK and Ireland, it’s nice and hot in Iberia. This summer has been opposite to last year when heat records fell seemingly each month from March to August.

This summer’s setup.

May, June and July have all been at or below normal temperature wise over most of Iberia with a very cool July in WSW Spain and all of Portugal. July was of course record warm across most of Europe.

June 2018

Credit: Michael Ventrice

July 2018

Credit: Michael Ventrice

Last summer saw a dominant Icelandic low as well as Azores high which meant frequent Atlantic lows sweep across the UK but it’s was sweltering over Iberia with frequent surges of African heat lifting north.

What a difference a year makes for Cordoba

It was just last summer in which the city of Montoro set a new all-time Spain record high of 47.3C while the typically sweltering city of Cordoba hit a new record of 46.9C. In stark contrast, Cordoba this summer experienced their LATEST 40C reading since 2001 and this followed a first 30C which arrived 3 weeks later than usual.

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