Ingredients in Europe: Countries in the south have been suffering from severe temperatures for weeks. And there is no improvement in vision. The next heat wave is already in the march – and it will set a new heat record.
If you look at the European sky at this point, you may think the weather is finally going crazy. When the northwest is affected by heavy rains and storms, the southeast turns into a glowing furnace. Only on Tuesday did the Greek Meteorological Service warn of an unusually long heat wave with local temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius. Even at night, the thermometer should not drop below 30 degrees in many places.
But not only is the country in the Aegean Sea affected by the intense heat moving from Africa to Europe. Other popular holiday countries also face hot days. The weather is likely to worsen in the coming days, especially in the Adriatic and Balkan regions.
Up to 50 degrees in Italy
On Tuesday, the meteorological service Kachelmanwetter shared on Twitter the US weather forecast model GFS calculations, the Italian Adriatic coast can reach up to 50 degrees on August 8. If the forecast turns out to be true, it will be a new all-time record on the European continent. The previous record was 48 degrees Celsius in July 1977 in Athens.
The forecast also worries meteorologists. “I have never seen maps like this before, and I can only hope that it will not change like that for southern and southeastern Europe,” said Clemens Grohe, a meteorologist with Kachelmanwetter. Next week we need to see if the temperature really rises to record levels. Such long-term predictions are often flawed.
Is Germany also threatened by a heat wave?
But there is no doubt that it will be hot: the weather service DTN expects temperatures above 40 degrees next week in parts of southern Italy, the Balkans, Greece and Turkey. According to DTN meteorologist Rainer Buchsop, a record value of 50 degrees is possible considering the unusual duration of the heat phase – even though it is still difficult to predict at this time.
“I don’t want to dismiss it yet,” Buchop said in an interview with D-Online. The cause of the continuous heat is a stable, tropical high pressure area in which hot air spreads from the Sahara region of North Africa to parts of Southeastern Europe, the meteorologist said.
However, according to the bookstore, such long-term heat cannot be expected in Germany. Although temperatures in this country can repeatedly rise above 40 degrees, many weekly heat waves, such as in southern Europe, are “very unusual”. Most of the time, low pressure areas in the Atlantic Ocean will disrupt the tropics in Central Europe.
The heat promotes the spread of wildfires
Extreme heat in southern Europe can have dangerous consequences for local people. Greek civil defense has already called on people to be vigilant on Tuesday. Older and younger children in particular should not expose themselves to heat. As the temperature does not drop at night, the recovery of the human body becomes very stressful. Extreme weather will last, which is very dangerous to health.
In addition, the soil and plants have dried up due to high temperatures. This is conducive to the spread of wildfires. Fires have been burning in almost every country on the Mediterranean coast in recent weeks, from Portugal to Turkey. The Turkish Civil Defense Agency did not report three deaths until Wednesday due to a wildfire near a tourist resort in Antalya. Fires have been wreaking havoc for several days on the Italian holiday island of Sardinia, with about 20,000 hectares of forest already destroyed.
Wildfire near the Greek port city of Badras. (Source: Imajo / ANE version)
In Greece, about 50 bushes and wildfires threatened several suburbs of the capital, Athens, earlier this week. These are now back under control, but with the continuing heat and strong winds expected, bad memories are waking up in the country. In 1987, an estimated 4,000 people died from similar heat waves. Then there were some air conditioning systems, and city apartments became a death trap, especially for the elderly.
Heat logs drop
The dramatic rates of extreme heat waves became clear only in late June in Canada. More than 700 people have died in the province of British Columbia off the Pacific coast alone as temperatures have dropped below 50 degrees Celsius. In the village of Lytton, it measured 49.6 degrees – a new record. The peak value in Canada was previously 45 degrees. A few days later, the community was completely destroyed by wildfires.
Elsewhere in the Northern Hemisphere recently announced new record temperatures: in the Russian city of Bezora, on the edge of the Arctic, measured 32.5 degrees in May, according to the state meteorological service the thermometer in the Norwegian Lapland showed 34.3 in early July.
The relationship between global warming and heat waves
The fact that such heat recordings occur so often is also the cause of global warming. This is the result of a study conducted by an international team of researchers published in early July. Scientists fed more than 20 simulations with the latest thermal data from Canada and the United States.
Their conclusion: Without global warming, a heat wave like the one in Canada would have occurred 150 times less, according to Dutch climate researcher Soukje Philip SRF. The temperature would have been two degrees lower on average. Nevertheless, extreme heat waves are still very rare today. According to the researchers, it is estimated that such a heat barrier occurs once per million. However, this may change with increasing temperature.
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