Heatwave spares Malta but temperatures will rise to 35°C by week’s end

A heatwave baking France and Spain has hit earlier than expected sending temperatures 10°C above the monthly average

France has been hit by a heatwave early this summer
France has been hit by a heatwave early this summer

Malta has been spared the intense heatwave hitting Spain and France but temperatures are set to rise above 30°C from Tuesday, according to Malta International Airport.

The Meteorological Office’s seven-day forecast shows that the highest temperatures will reach 30°C on Monday, rising to 31°C on Tuesday. The temperature is expected to continue rising with the Met Office forecasting highs of 35°C on Thursday and Friday.

The sweltering heat that has forced France to ban some outdoor activities and has killed baby birds in Spain has hit earlier than usual.

According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), although it is only mid-June, temperatures in some parts of Spain and France, are on average more than 10°C higher than the average for this time of year.

The WMO said the intense heatwave made its way from North Africa. The UN agency explained that an Atlantic low-pressure system between the Azores and Madeira is fuelling the warm front, pushing it towards western Europe.

In France, the heat spike follows the country’s warmest and driest May on record, and the country’s national weather agency said that it is the earliest heatwave since 1947.

In Spain, temperatures topped 40°C in parts of the country’s interior on consecutive days this week, and it’s been hotter still in Toledo province in recent days.

Portugal has also recorded its warmest May since 1931.

The WMO said Spaniards are also enduring a Saharan dust cloud, which has worsened health and environmental stress.

In Switzerland, where maximum temperatures have been well above 30°C, the national weather service issued findings showing that the temperature difference between towns and the countryside, was as much as six degrees Celsius.