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‘Zoe’ Becomes the World’s First Named Heat Wave

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Tourists cool off by a fountain at the Plaza de Espana (Spain square) during the second heatwave of the year, in Seville, Spain, July 2022. Credit: CLIMATEWIRE | The world’s first named heat wave hit Seville, Spain, this week, pushing temperatures past 110 degrees Fahrenheit and earning the most severe tier in the city’s new heat wave ranking system.

Heat wave “Zoe” has brought scorching temperatures to the southern part of the country for the last few days, particularly the region of Andalusia where Seville is located. Even in the evenings, the Spanish meteorological service recorded temperatures that hovered in the mid-80s in some areas — an extra stress on the human body, which relies on cooler nights to recover from high daytime heat.

Zoe is the first named heat wave to hit Seville since it officially launched a new pilot program last month for naming and ranking heat waves, similar to hurricanes ( Climatewire , June 22). Only the most severe heat waves get names, designated this year in reverse alphabetical order. After Zoe, comes Yago, Xenia, Wenceslao and Vega.

The worst of the heat is expected to begin tapering off today. But it has posed a significant risk to human […]

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