Fans, air conditioning, swimming pools, cool beverages, or ice cream were all welcomed on Monday in Spain as the country faced its earliest heat wave in almost 40 years.

Temperatures have risen due to a cloud of hot air from North Africa, according to AEMET experts, and the oppressive heat wave might linger until June 16 or 17, a few days before summer officially begins on June 21.

According to the Spanish meteorological office AEMET, the current heat wave is the earliest recorded since 1981, with temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in portions of central and southern Spain.

As the warmth climbed, people rode their bikes through fountains or hid in the shadows.

However, for others, it was business as usual.

Simone Roma, a 19-year-old pizzaiolo, was working at an oven at Toto e Peppino, a popular Italian restaurant in Madrid.

“You work and you keep going because of passion and because this is what we like to do. It goes through my veins, this is my family,” he told Reuters.

“While extreme heat is not unknown in June, the fact is that heat waves have become five times more frequent in the 21st century,” Ruben del Campo, AEMET’s spokesperson, said on Monday.

The national meteorological service has issued a warning, stating that the heat wave might feel considerably worse throughout the country owing to the presence of sand and dust from the Sahara in the air.

Popular tourist sites such as Sevilla and Cordoba, whose temperatures often exceed 40 degrees Celsius throughout the summer, are expected to reach up to 43 degrees Celsius (109.4 degrees Fahrenheit) in the next days, with the country’s capital Madrid reaching 41 degrees Celsius on Monday.

Spain had extraordinary weather last year, with blizzard Filomena paralyzing the nation in January with temperatures as low as -21 C (-5.8°F) and record-breaking heat waves in August.

Source: Reuters

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