On Friday, August 11, Morocco witnessed an unprecedented event. In the coastal city of Agadir, the temperature soared to a record-breaking 50.4°C. This was the first time in the country’s history that a temperature above 50°C has been reliably documented.
The August 11 heat record was part of Morocco’s third heatwave this summer. Temperatures reached up to 49°C from Friday to Sunday.
The cities of Laayoune, Smara, and Agadir were particularly affected by this extreme heat. Various provinces, especially in the Souss-Massa region, experienced temperatures ranging between 46°C and 49°C on Friday and Saturday. The Moroccan General Directorate of Meteorology (DGM) issued a red alert bulletin, indicating a need for high vigilance.
The heat wave has been accompanied by dramatic dust storms. In Marrakesh, Morocco’s fourth-largest city, wind gusts of 80 km/h turned the streets orange as temperatures soared to 47°C.
The dust storm caused major damage to trees and buildings. One 18-year-old man perished after a tree fell on him.
— War Intel (@War_Intel_) August 13, 2023
In addition to causing discomfort, Morocco’s heat wave has damaged the country’s agricultural sector. Mehdaoui Elmokhtar, a citrus farmer living near Agadir, told reporters that the excessive heat killed 5% of his crop.
The summer of 2023 has been an unusually warm one across Morocco. The August 11 national heat record in Agadir comes just weeks after the previous heat record was set. The city of Smara saw temperatures rise to 49.9°C on July 13. Overall, July 2023 was the fourth-hottest July in Morocco since 1961.
In northern Morocco, heat-induced wildfires have been reported near Tangier. Thankfully, no deaths have been reported.
Many scientific experts have linked the Moroccan heat wave to climate change. According to these researchers, the global rise in extreme weather events means that it will not be long before Morocco exceeds 50° C again.
Image Source: RTE News, https://shorturl.at/bEV19