Seville, Spain has started naming heat waves

We are all familiar with naming hurricanes and ranking them by category, but now there’s a push to do the same with heat waves.

What You Need To Know

  • The rating system has three categories
  • Heat waves in Seville occur twice as often now compared to a decade ago
  • Seville is the first city in the world to rank and name heat waves

Summer 2021 in Spain brought unrelenting heat. The top temperature was in August when readings rose to 117 degrees in the city of Montoro. It’s the hottest temperature ever recorded in Spain.

The heat helped spark catastrophic wildfires.

In Spain this year, temperatures have been soaring again. May was the hottest in over 5 decades. Also, over 800 people have died due to heat-related causes since the start of June.

The city of Seville is hoping that their new rating system will help make people more aware of the dangers of extreme heat. 

(AP Photo)

When temperatures soar this summer, Seville ranks the heat waves as a category 1, category 2 or category 3 event.

They will name the category 3 events.

The names on the list are:

  • Zoe
  • Yago
  • Xenia
  • Wenceslao
  • Vega

Here is the classification chart.

Officials hope that by naming the heat waves, the public will pay more attention to the heat warnings.

The naming program predicts heat waves up to five days in advance and determines the ranking of the event in relation to its impact on human health.

They tie each category to specific measures, like sending health workers to check on at-risk people like the elderly or extending the hours of public pools.

This program in Seville is a partnership with Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center. This group hopes to have similar programs in Athens, Greece, Melbourne and Australia, and in the United States, Milwaukee, Miami, Kansas City and Los Angeles. 

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