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This summer is breaking temperature records in Spain: this July was crowned the hottest calendar month since records began to be kept in Spain, which was in 1961. The average daily temperature was 25.6°C, which is 2.7°C above the normal average temperature for the month and 0.2°C higher than in July 2015, which up until now had been the most extreme. Thus, July 2022 has topped the charts of the hottest months ever recorded in Spain, followed by July 2015 and in third place, the August of a famous heatwave year, 2003. Five of the top ten hottest months in Spain have occurred since 2010, and until 2015, no month had crossed the average barrier of 25°C. But this year, successive heat episodes have arrived and the records have fallen.


Temperatura media Espanya Mesos mes alts
The Top Ten hottest months ever recorded in Spain, based on average temperature / AEMET

And in addition to the heat, July 2022 has also been the driest month in the last 15 years in the Spanish state as a whole. Rainfall in the Iberian peninsula as a whole has been around half of the normal average, totalling 9 l/m², when the average is 17.4 l/m², although the southern part of Catalonia, along with parts of Aragón and the Valencia Country, defied the trend and had significantly more rain than usual. Adding to the drought, July was the sunniest month since 1983, with an average of 374.2 hours, which is 6% above normal. The autonomous communities with the most hours of sunshine last month were Extremadura (402.2), the Community of Madrid (401.8) and Castilla-La Mancha (395.5). In fact, according to the official Spanish meteorological agency, the anomalous heat is not just a question of July. The May-June-July quarter was also the warmest on record, by some margin. It adds to a pattern under which the heat of summer starts earlier than usual: the entire length of coastal Catalonia is now having summers that are ten days longer, when measured by temperature. 

The Spanish health ministry calculates that there have been more than 2,000 deaths in July caused by the high temperatures. Since July 1st, Spain's system of mortality monitoring has detected 9,687 more deaths than expected. It is believed that 2,124 deaths are a result of the heat, especially those of the second heat wave that hit in July. It is a much higher figure than the 554 recorded last year, 2021. In fact, July 2022 also holds the record for the highest heat-related deaths since 2003, when an excess was estimated of 12,804 throughout the summer: 1,719 in June, 2,011 in July, 8,727 in August and 345 in the first fortnight of September.

Days of lengthening of summer based on temperature criteria AEMET
Days of lengthening of summer based on temperature criteria / AEMET