Spain scorched by earliest heatwave in 40 plus years

STORY: One dog owner told Reuters she's glad Madrid has so many parks. “This grass is in perfect condition to help the dog enjoy, run and keep fresh,” she said.

But it's challenging for those who have to work in the heat. One construction worker, Paul Francis, said he's drinking a lot of water.

“It is what it is," Francis said. "We cope with it but I think that it is going to get hotter. Next month for sure we will start at 8 and stop at 15h.”

A cloud of hot air from North Africa has sent temperatures soaring, according to the Spanish weather agency AEMET, and the suffocating heatwave could last in most of Spain until the end of the week, few days before summer officially starts on June 21.

With temperatures surpassing 40C (104F) in parts of central and southern Spain, the current heatwave equals the earliest one registered in 1981, AEMET said.

The weather agency also sent out a warning saying the heatwave could feel even worse across the country due to presence of sand and dust in the air from the Sahara.

Popular tourist destinations such as Sevilla and Cordoba, in which exceeding 40C is not unusual during the summer months, are set to reach up to 43C (109F) in the coming days, with capital Madrid sweltering with 41C on Monday.

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