Many cities are posting their highest temperatures since records began, sometimes as high as 45 degrees Celsius.
Parts of Argentina and neighboring South America have recorded record high temperatures as the region swelters under a historic heat wave.
“Almost all of Argentina and neighboring countries such as Uruguay, southern Brazil and Paraguay are experiencing the hottest days on record,” said Cindy Fernandez, meteorologist with the official National Meteorological Service of Argentina.
Many cities posted their highest temperatures since records began, with some areas heating up to 45C (113F), according to the weather service.
“In Argentina, from central Patagonia to the north of the country, thermal values are recorded that reach or exceed 40 degrees,” Fernandez said.
Heat and a prolonged drought have hit crops in the grain-producing country, but it is hoped that an expected drop in temperature next week will bring a spell of rain to cool plants and people.
The record heat is also straining the country’s power grid, local media reported.
In the province of Buenos Aires around the capital, more than 75,000 users had no electricity on Friday, the Clarin newspaper reported. Argentina recorded its highest ever level of electricity consumption on Friday afternoon, the newspaper said.
“It’s another hellish day,” Elizabeth Bassin told Reuters news agency as she waited for a bus in Buenos Aires. “But hey, we’re living through a week of heat waves and it’s almost as if the body is getting used to this heat.”
Emanuel Moreno, who delivered soft drinks, said he was working despite the heat but needed to keep hydrated.
“In truth, it is really hot and heavy, even if when you work you don’t realize it. You realize you are very thirsty and you need to drink lots of water, water and more water because if you don’t you can’t go on,” he said. declared.
On Thursday, US government scientists reported that 2021 was the sixth hottest year on record, and they blame climate change squarely.
The past eight years have been the eight hottest and the past decade has been the hottest since record keeping began in 1880, the US scientists said.
Fernandez, the meteorologist, said a warm air mass had formed over Argentina in the middle of summer in the southern hemisphere.
“We have many days of clear skies where the solar radiation is very intense and in a context of extreme drought that Argentina has been going through for about two years,” she said. “That means the ground is very dry, and dry ground heats up much more than wet ground.”