The start of October in Spain this year has been the warmest since records began, the country’s meteorological agency AEMET said on Monday, with nearly 40% of weather stations recording maximum temperatures above 32 degrees Celsius (89.6 Fahrenheit).
The early autumn season is so far offering Spaniards little respite after a summer with four heatwaves spread out over 24 days, part of a global pattern of rising temperatures that is widely attributed by scientists to human activity.
“In most of the Iberian Peninsula, temperatures on Oct. 1 were between seven and 14 degrees above normal for this time of the year,” said AEMET spokesperson Ruben del Campo, adding almost 100 individual records had been beaten on Sunday.
Two cities in south-central Spain, Badajoz and Montoro, broke the heat record for continental Spain during the month of October with 38 C and 38.2 C, respectively. The previous record was 37.5 C, documented in the resort city of Marbella in October 2014.
The weather station at Madrid’s iconic Retiro Park, which is over a century old, equaled its October record of 30 C set in 1930.
“The footprint of climate change is manifested in the fact that such warm spells are now much more frequent and more intense,” Del Campo told state broadcaster TVE.
He added that future summers would not only be hotter, but also longer, extending into the traditionally mild and rainy autumn.