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Spain Bakes in Summer-Like Heat, and Worries About What Comes Next


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In Madrid, where it hit around 90 degrees Fahrenheit on Friday, schools were allowed to close early to avoid the heat. In Catalonia, it’s so dry that the valves of an irrigation canal have been closed for lack of water. And in Seville, the police are investigating the death of a horse pulling a tourist carriage from apparent heatstroke.

With temperatures over 100 degrees in early April, people in Spain have moved into summer mode, looking for shade, hitting the beach. But the extreme heat — so early in the year — has prompted fears that it is no longer a seasonal phenomenon but a new daily reality.

On Thursday, Spain’s mainland recorded its hottest ever temperature for April, reaching 38.8 degrees Celsius, about 102 degrees Fahrenheit, in the southern city of Cordoba, according to the country’s national weather service. And in several areas of the country, thermometers have exceeded seasonal norms by more than 25 degrees Fahrenheit, reaching values typical of summer.

Coinciding with a long-running drought that has already depleted reservoirs and dried up fields, the…

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