As a powerful heatwave swept across Europe last week, France suffered all-time record high temperatures on Friday, with Gallargues-le-Montueux reaching 45.8°C (114.4°F) in the afternoon, says AccuWeather.
As temperatures hit dangerous peaks, France’s national weather service issued the first ever “red” hazardous weather warning for southeastern portions of the country on Friday.
A “red” warning is the highest level out of a four-level alert system. It was first put into effect after a deadly heatwave in 2003 claimed 15,000 lives, according to the Associated Press.
Meanwhile, in Italy, temperatures soared past 33°C (above 90°F) each day last week.
Similar scorching temperatures in Spain even led to a major wildfire near Tarragona in the country’s northeast.
About 10,000 acres of forest and vegetation were threatened by the blaze, notes AccuWeather.
Regional government officials described it as one of the worst in 20 years; more than 50 people evacuated for their safety.
CNN reports that the fire may have been started by an “improperly managed” pile of manure that self-combusted, similar to the threat that wet hay bales pose.
Other European nations had no reprieve from the overpowering heat either.
Last week, all-time June record highs were set in Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic.
In Germany, for example, Coschen station (Berlin-Brandenburg) reached 38.6°C (101.5°F). This is less than 2°C lower than its all-time record maximum, set in Kitzingen in August 2015.
Temperatures soared to 38.2°C (100.8°F) at Radzyń, Poland, on Wednesday, while Doksany in the Czech Republic, recorded a high of 38.9°C (102°F).
Additionally, more than half of the stations in Switzerland recorded new all-time June temperatures on Wednesday.
In Spain, site-specific June record highs were also broken in Molina de Aragón and Daroca on Wednesday.
Heat to hold firm across France, surge back to Germany and Poland
Cooler air is currently bringing much-needed heat relief to central Europe. But the heat is holding firm across Spain and France and surged back to the north in the final days of June.
In the south of Spain, the brutal heat sent temperatures soaring to around 40°C (104°F) each day through Sunday in Madrid.
The hottest locations across the country could have temperatures of 42-44°C (108-112°F) these days.
The dangerous heat once again expanded its grip across central Europe on Saturday and Sunday.
The weekend was forecasted to start with temperatures approaching or reaching 32°C (90°F) in Brussels, Belgium; and Cologne, Germany.
It also spread much farther to the north than earlier last week with widespread highs of 27-30°C (80-86°F) across England on Saturday.
An increase in humidity will accompany the surging heat, pushing AccuWeather RealFeel Temperatures to near 32°C (90°F) in London.
Similar actual highs were registered across southern parts of Norway and Sweden, away from the coast, on Saturday. In Oslo, temperatures can reach 26°C (79°F) on a day when a high closer to 19°C (67°F) is more common.
June will end on Sunday with temperatures exceeding 32°C (90°F) for many communities in Germany, Poland, Czech Republic and Switzerland.
Relief from Europe’s heatwave on the horizon
As quick as the heat surges back to the north, a storm is expected to sweep welcome cooler air into northern Europe.
The more comfortable weather first spread across the U.K., Netherlands, Brussels and northern France on Sunday. It is predicted to sweep the heat out of the rest of northern Europe on Monday and Tuesday.
Temperatures are set to return to or under 26°C (79°F) in Paris today.
The cooler weather will reach Berlin, Germany; Warsaw, Poland; and Zürich, Switzerland, on Tuesday.
Madrid will remain hot these days, but the heat will not be as extreme as in the final days of June.