Jul 24, 2019 - Energy & Environment

Europe endures a 2nd wave of record-breaking extreme heat

A woman cools off at the Trocadero Fountains near the Eiffel Tower in Paris, on July 22.

Paris is forecast to smash its all-time temperature high on Thursday. Photo: Alain Jocard/AFP/Getty Images

Records have begun to tumble across Western Europe as a second blistering summer heat wave struck — and forecasters warn the worst is far from over.

Details: The historic heat wave has shattered hottest temperature records in Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and France, as the extreme weather system spreads. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said the heat would exacerbate drought in some areas and "fuel the risk of wildfires."

Why it matters: The WMO blames climate change for the extreme weather event, and it warns that because of this, "heat waves are expected to become longer, more frequent and intense, and start earlier and finish later in the past."

"The high temperatures are punishing for Europe's glaciers. Over the past 50 years, we have experienced more hot days, hot nights and heat waves, and this trend will continue."

The big picture: The WMO said an influx of hot air from North Africa is triggering the scorching temperatures, similar to the heat wave that struck much of central and western Europe last month.

In France, Several cities broke previous high-temperature records Tuesday and Wednesday, including Bordeaux, which hit 106°F.

  • The national weather service, Météo-France, said Paris was set to smash its all-time high set in July 1947 — 104°FC — with 107°F forecast for Thursday.

In Germany, a new national record was set in Geilenkirchen, near the borders with Belgium and the Netherlands, where the temperature reached 104.5°F

In the Netherlands, Eindhoven smashed the country's 75-year-old record, hitting a temperature just short of 103°F.

In Belgium, Kleine Brogel hit 102°F — the hottest since 1833.

In the United Kingdom, people in southern and eastern England were bracing for potentially the hottest day on record. The U.K. Met Office tweeted it's likely those regions could see the thermometer hit 102°F. The hottest temperature recorded in the U.K. is 101°F.

"There is currently a 60% chance we could break this on Thursday, depending on the amount of cloud."
— Met Office statement

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