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article imageSpain heading for an 'African heatwave' on Thursday

By Anne Sewell     Jul 31, 2013 in World
While it has already been pretty hot in Spain so far this summer, things are expected to heat up even more in the coming days as temperatures head for 43 degrees Celsius in some areas from Thursday on.
The next couple of days are likely to be the hottest days so far this summer with high temperatures likely to hit all of Spain's mainland provinces, except for the "green" north in Galicia and Asturias, and the north-east of Castile and León.
The media is dubbing the coming heat "an African heat wave," as hot winds blast in from that continent, with temperatures expected to soar over 39 degrees Celsius in many parts of southern Spain and also in the Ebro valley. Spain's Balearic Islands are also likely to be baking hot.
Andalucía's Guadalquivir valley is likely to cook at 41 degrees Celsius, while inland temperatures are expected to be a little more moderate at 36 degrees Celsius in the northern central area.
Forecasts also show that the lower, minimum end of the temperature scale is unlikely to be below 20 degrees Celsius during the heat wave.
According to Spanish health authorities, people should stay out of the midday sun, wear loose and cool clothing and a hat, and should also use plenty of sunscreen and UV-protective sunglasses when out in the sun.
It is also wise to stay away from spicy food, caffeine and alcohol, as these all raise body heat and cause dehydration. Drink plenty of water (at least two liters per day) and sports drinks are a good idea to replace lost electrolytes and glucose.
Relief is expected on Friday in the east of mainland Spain and on Saturday across the mainland, with more bearable temperatures for the weekend.
It is important to remember the risk of forest and grass fires in rural areas during the heatwave. Citizens and visitors are warned to take extra care when having a barbecue, particularly in rural areas. Smokers are told to refrain from throwing the cigarettes out of the car window and to rather use the in-car ashtray.
When picnicking in the countryside, avoid leaving glass or plastic bottles in direct sunlight that could magnify the sun's rays and cause fires.
Relevant articles on the subject:
Mallorca: Three men arrested for devastating forest fire (video)
Chinese sky lanterns spark Valencia fire, tourists blamed
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