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Spain’s January temperatures surge to almost 30 degrees Celsius as the year begins with record heat

Even though January isn’t yet over, temperatures in Europe are already breaking records.

On Thursday, Spain saw a day of unusually warm January temperatures, with some regions reaching over 28C.

At 1,200 meters above sea level, Fredes, Valencia, saw a temperature of 21.6C. The temperature at night in Puerto de Navacerrada, a ski resort that is often blanketed in snow during this time of year, didn’t get below 10C.

According to the Spanish meteorological organization AEMET, temperature records have been broken in over 90 locations throughout January.

With the average maximum temperature in the nation being between 18 and 19 degrees Celsius, over 400 monitoring stations—roughly half of those in the national network—reached or above 20 degrees Celsius on January 25 alone.

In comparison, the average maximum temperature in January is typically 10.6C, which puts this record high in context.

With an area of high atmospheric pressure bringing a hot air mass from even further south and obstructing impending storms from the Atlantic Ocean, the warm weather is predicted to last into the weekend.

Concerns over diminishing water resources are heightened by the extraordinary heat and lack of rain in many areas, including as Andalusia and Catalonia, which are experiencing a record drought. Critically low reservoir levels may herald impending water consumption restrictions that will be considerably more stringent.

There are also unusually high temperatures in Portugal and France

The center district of Leiria, Portugal, had 23°C on Friday, although the IPMA weather office predicted 24°C there. It stated that Thursday’s temperatures in the country’s north were 8 to 9 degrees Celsius higher than average.

According to Météo-France, temperatures in France’s south will continue to be higher than the seasonal norm through the end of the month.

Wednesday’s high in Le Luc, in the southeast of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, was 22.5C, breaking other January records along the Mediterranean in Montpellier, Le Castellet, and Arles.

Furthermore, Météo-France reports that little to no rain is expected for the Mediterranean region, raising concerns about the region’s persistent drought. The soil in the Pyrénées-Orientales is at its driest point in January since records have been kept, and it may soon hit “unprecedented” levels.

Is 2024 going to surpass 2023, which was the warmest year ever recorded?

However, record-breaking temperatures aren’t just happening in Europe.

Much of Australia is under a severe heatwave, with some inland areas seeing their hottest days since the terrible wildfires of 2019–2020. Some areas have experienced temperatures close to 50°C, putting all-time heat records in jeopardy.

Over the past week, South Africa has experienced intense heatwaves and heightened fire dangers. The capital city of Buenos Aires is among the locations for which the National Meteorological Service of Argentina has issued a number of alerts for high temperatures expected to surpass 40C this weekend.

This January, similar stories are being told in many different nations.

According to scientists at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 2024 has a one in three probability of surpassing 2023, which is the warmest year on record. This information was released last week.

The El Niño climate cycle and climate change combined to create the 2023 record. Global temperatures rise as a result of this natural occurrence, with the Pacific Ocean’s surface waters becoming warmer.

According to NOAA Chief Scientist Dr. Sarah Kapnick, “Not only was 2023 the warmest year in NOAA’s 174-year climate record – it was the warmest by far,”

“We will continue to see records broken and extreme events grow until emissions go to zero.”

Given that El Niño is expected to persist until April, NOAA meteorologists forecast that 2024 will likely be a very hot year, with a 99 percent probability of ranking among the top five warmest on record.

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