Spain has never had a month as hot as July in more than six decades, the national weather office AEMET said Monday.
For the first time since weather records started in 1961, July registered an average temperature of 25.6 degrees Celsius (78 degrees Fahrenheit), that was 2.7 C (36 F) above the recorded average for any month of July.
The southern Andalusian town of Morón de la Frontera posted the highest temperature of the month with 46 C (115 F) on July 24. The northwest Galicia region posted a record temperature of 44 C (111 F) in Ourense city.
The extreme heat and lack of rain has caused many wildfires and worsened drought in many areas. The European Forest Fire Information System says 2022 has been the worst year so far, in terms of scorched territory and the number of fires for Spain. The body says some 240,000 hectares (585,00 acres) have been razed in more than 370 fires.
Neighboring Portugal’s weather service IPMA also said July was the hottest since national records began in 1931. The average temperature was 25.1 degrees Celsius (77.3 degrees Fahrenheit), it said. That was almost 3 degrees C higher than the expected July average.