Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Morocco's Heatwave Continues

According to the American Meteorological Society (AMS) "in 2015, the annual temperature in Morocco was the hottest since 1960." Yet, 2016 could reach new peak temperatures
Marrakech should reach 40 degrees plus for the next couple of weeks

American scientists in collaboration with experts from around the world including those of the Moroccan National Meteorology Directorate under the Ministry of Energy, Mines, Water and the Environment say the maximum temperature was recorded in the northwest of the Kingdom and was about 1° Celsius above previously recorded temperatures.

In 2015, the months of May, July and August were particularly marked by heat waves, leading to high maximum temperatures. "These heat waves were associated with dry continental air intrusions from the intense heat in the Sahara," explain the authors. This is what they believe was the basis of wildfires that devastated hundreds of hectares, especially in northern Morocco last year.

Meanwhile, 2016 is turning out to be possibly even warmer. The last few weeks in Fez and Marrakech have been continually reaching daytime temperatures above 40 Celsius. The temperatures headed up across the country last month and Friday 22 July in Southern Morocco saw temperatures of between 43 degrees and 47 degrees Celsius.

Over the next couple of weeks, conditions are expected to be the same (Marrakech 43 or 44 degrees C). However in Fez temperatures over the next ten days should start to decrease to the middle to high 30s.

Hot food takeaway in Marrakech - a bit too hot

Apart from the normal warnings about drinking plenty of water - there is also an issue with electronic and electrical equipment. A couple of days ago a food vendor's stall in the Jemaa El Fna caught fire due to overheated electrical appliances. Fortunately nobody was injured.

One tourist told The View From Fez that he "cooked my iPhone by leaving it out in the sun for 20 minutes.... ouch!

For most people the answer to cooling down is a visit to one of the local swimming pools...

...or, if you have transport,  to the nearest beach.


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