Wednesday 10th August 2022 – Mike Smith
Sources: AEMET Meteorological Warning / Climate Laboratory at the University of Alicante
The state meteorological agency AEMET has activated YELLOW alert risk warning for the potential for high temperatures which will be valid from 1.00pm on Friday 12th August and remain active until 9.00pm on the same day. And again from 1.00pm until 9.00pm on Saturday 13th August, when it is forecast that the temperatures will be even higher.
AEMET advises that there is a 40%-70% probability that the Marina Alta region could experience maximum temperatures as high as 36°c-38°c in places whilst the likes of Gandía, Xativa, Alzira and Ontinyent are likely to see the thermometer approach 40°c in many places.
The University of Alicante‘s Climate Laboratory has explained that the increase in temperatures will be caused by a very warm air mass moving into the south-east, pushed by hot westerly winds. This may also cause a general haziness in the sky as well as bring the potential for a scattered shower or two. On Monday, the temperatures will begin to drop and there is likely to be a change in the weather, although at the moment it is unclear if this will affect the Mediterranean coast.
Mediterranean Sea as hot as the Caribbean
The warning comes just a day after a buoy in the bay of Valencia recorded a sea temperature of 29.72°c, the highest value since records began and easily beating the previous maximum of 28.65°c recorded on August 7th 2015. As the University of Alicante’s Climate Laboratory suggested on their Facebook page, the Mediterranean Sea off the Valencian coast is as warm as the Caribbean right now.
Note: The alert doesn’t mean that these conditions are definitely going to affect us but that the models are showing that there is a good chance that they may do so so it’s best to be prepared.
Tips for Beating the Heat
- Stay hydrated. Water will keep your body cool and should be drunk even if you’re not feeling thirsty. Steer clear of sugary soft drinks which actually reduce your body’s ability to store water. In addition, alcohol, coffee and other caffeinated drinks should be avoided as they are all natural diuretics.
- Stay out of the sun. Avoid activities in the middle of the day and try to limit exposure to the sun between 10.00am and 4.00pm. Use the right sunscreen protection when outside for a long duration – SP30 would be the best option – and reapply often, especially if you have been swimming or sweat a lot.
- Stay in the shade. If you are outside for a long time during the hottest part of the day, try and use any shade as much as possible. Whilst the actual air temperature isn’t going to reduce, sitting out of the sun can make it feel a lot cooler, especially if there is a breeze.
- Spray water on your skin. Not everyone has the luxury of jumping into a swimming pool to keep cool but you can fill a spray bottle with water and keep it in the fridge so that when you feel like you’re overheating, you can spray a fine mist of cold water over your face and body to cool down.
- Dress to stay cool. Light, loose-fitting clothes will help you to keep cool. Cotton and linen clothes are better, synthetic clothing tend to trap moisture, such as sweat, and stick to your body, making you feel quite uncomfortable. Make sure your head is covered when in direct sunlight and a wide-brimmed hat that covers not just the top of your head but also your ears and back of your neck is the best option; baseball caps are not.
- Close curtains and blinds. The natural thing to do when it’s a beautiful sunny day is to open all the windows and doors to let in the light and the breeze. However, this doesn’t stop the sun’s heat from entering the house and it is recommended to close curtains and blinds during the hottest part of the day to keep that temperature down.
- Use fans to cool down. Fans can help you keep cool by continuously circulating the air in your home or office. Placing a bowl of cold water in front of the fan can help to reduce the temperatures, a home-made ‘swamp cooler’, but this won’t work if it is humid too. Air conditioning can ramp up the electricity bills but using it efficiently and in the areas where you spend most of the time will help improve comfort in a hot house without adding too much to the monthly invoice. Failing that, visit public buildings that have air conditioning such as the library, or browse a little longer in the freezer section of the local supermarket.