Potentially record heatwave to strike continental Europe

June 21 , 2019

Much of continental Europe is forecast to suffer a potentially record-breaking heatwave this week, as high pressure pulling hot air northward from Africa sends temperatures soaring, says The Guardian.

Temperatures in cities from Spain to Germany are expected to exceed 32°C and climb to more than 38°C or even 40°C in the hottest areas.

Specifically, cities from Madrid to Berlin, including Paris, Brussels and Frankfurt, are likely to experience this “multi-day heatwave” in the first half of the week, with similar temperatures of 32°C or above expected further east later in Bucharest, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade and Sofia, Forecaster AccuWeather explains

It attributes the severe weather to a combination of two factors. The first is a storm stalled over the Atlantic and the second is the high pressure over central Europe.

This could lead to a “potentially dangerous heatwave over a large portion of western and central Europe”, The Guardian quotes the forecaster commenting.

Temperatures of between 35°C and 40°C are expected to sweep across most of France this week, with the exception Brittany, Météo-France says. It adds these temperatures are unlikely to fall below 20°C overnight.

“Even though it will be shortlived, this heatwave could be remarkable for its momentum and intensity,” the forecaster said in a bulletin.

Meanwhile, meteorologists in Germany said there was a 50% chance of temperatures hitting 40°C, possibly breaking the national record of 40.3°C set in Bavaria in 2015.

Long-range weather forecasts show summer temperatures throughout July and August are expected to be higher than normal, rivaling those of 2018, which  was one of the three warmest years on record on the continent, according to the European Environment Agency.

Scientists have said last year’s heatwave, which led to a dramatic decline in crop yields and wildfires inside the Arctic Circle, was linked to the climate emergency.

They warn that extreme climate events are likely to be regular occurrences in the coming decades.

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