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In a bid to warn people about excessively hot weather and the dangers associated with it, scientists have started naming heatwaves now. At first, a heatwave in Spain, which resulted in temperatures touching as high as 44 degree Celsius, was named Zoe. The rise in temperature was recorded between July 24 and July 27 when the heatwave gripped Seville city of Spain, according to Jose Maria Martin Olalla, an associate professor in the department of condensed matter physics at Sevilla University. The naming was done by the proMETEO Seville Project, which is a pilot initiative launched in June, aimed at ranking heatwaves and raising awareness around them. According to Olalla, the effort is to “prevent the hazards of exposure to the heat during the afternoon.”
As per the Spanish State Meteorological Agency (AEMET), heatwaves are characterised by monitoring the temperature for at least three consecutive days.
The heatwaves will be given male and female names alternately and weather experts will go in the reverse alphabetical order for this. Hence, Zoe is the first name to be chosen. Following this, authorities in Spain will be naming other heatwaves too. The names, for the future heatwaves, include Yago, Xenia, Wenceslao, and Vega, according to a report in Time.
While the Spanish people are used to witnessing hot weather, the periods of high temperatures have become more frequent now, explained Olalla. He added that there has been a drought in Spain and other parts of Europe in the past few months.
In Seville, temperatures reached 112 degrees Fahrenheit on July 24 and July 25 while the minimum daily temperature was 84 degrees Fahrenheit. “Every summer there are some days in Seville with temperatures above this threshold. It is not incredibly rare,” Olalla told the USA Today.
However, this time, Seville has witnessed daily temperatures hovering near 106 degrees Fahrenheit for about two weeks. Here, according to Olalla, the number of days when the temperature remained above the threshold was incredibly rare.