THE Valencia region is bracing itself for what is predicted to be, somewhat surprisingly, the first real heatwave of the summer.
Despite the usual high inland temperatures and humid conditions on the coast that are typical of July and August, weather experts believe this Thursday (August 12) through Sunday will register as the first true ola de calor.
There are two main reasons for this. Inland thermometers are expected to surge above 45ºC for the first time so far this summer, and nocturnal temperatures throughout the region will remain above 25ºC for at least four consecutive nights.
Areas such as Xativa (La Costera) and the south of Alicante Province will bear the brunt of it, with the vast majority of inland areas including the Vinalopo and Utiel-Requena districts easily climbing above 40ºC as of tomorrow (Wednesday).
Thankfully for residents in coastal areas, the sea breeze will partially alleviate the heat and the mercury is not expected to reach the giddy heights of the sweltering interior districts.
However, meteorologists also warn that the lasting humidity on the coast and intense dry heat inland will lead to a worsening of atmospheric conditions and air quality, with an increase in contaminating particles in suspension.
The risk of forest fires has been set at ‘extreme’ due to the general dryness of the land and the entrance of warm air from the Sahara – the main culprit of the heatwave that will also sweep through the south of Spain and Catalunya.
Most predictions suggest that temperatures next week will be closer to normal for the time of year – still very hot, but not as stifling.