All-time temperature records tumble again as heatwave sears Europe
Temperature records have been broken in Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium for the second-day running, and Paris has recorded its hottest day ever, as the second dangerous heatwave of summer 2019 continued to sear western Europe.
Wednesday’s Dutch record of 39.3C, set in Eindhoven, lasted until 2.40pm on Thursday, when a weather station at the Gilze-Rijen airbase, in the south of the country, registered 39.4C, the KNMI meteorological service said, climbing later to 40.4C.
Belgium’s all-time high of 40.2C, set on Wednesday at Angleur, was surpassed at 3.05pm when the mercury hit 40.6C at the military base of Kleine Brogel near the Dutch border. The pre-2019 records in both countries were set in the 1940s. A temperature of 41.5C was measured in the north-western German town of Lingen on Thursday, one day after 40.5C was recorded in Geilenkirchen in North Rhine-Westphalia.
Météo-France said the mercury at its Paris-Montsouris station in the French capital hit 40.6C (105F) just after 1.30pm local time on Thursday, breaking the previous high of 40.4C recorded in July 1947, and was continuing to climb.
Germany’s national DWD weather service said the mass of hot air was hanging “like a bell” over an area stretching from the central Mediterranean to Scandinavia, squeezed between low-pressure zones over western Russia and the eastern Atlantic.
On Thursday temperatures could exceed the all-time record of 38.5C, recorded in Faversham, Kent, in August 2003
Dutch national temperature record was broken at Gilze-Rijen airbase on Thursday. Code orange extreme temperature warning issued
National temperature record was broken on Wednesday and Thursday. Code red warning issued for entire country
Bordeaux recorded its highest ever temperature of 41.2C on Tuesday
City broke record of 40.4C that had stood for more than 70 years on Thursday
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As authorities across the continent handed out free water to homeless people, placed hospitals and residential care institutions on high alert and opened municipal buildings to anyone seeking shade, trains were slowed in several countries to avoid damage to lines, which could buckle in the heat.
France’s SNCF rail operator and the Métro in Paris advised travellers to postpone their trips if possible. I raise everybody United Nations agency will avoid or delay their journeys to try and do therefore,” the French environment minister, Élisabeth Borne, said.
When it is this hot it is not just people in a fragile state who can have health problems.”
Météo-France said the conditions “require particular care, notably for vulnerable or exposed people”. The prime minister, Édouard Philippe, said people “must take care of themselves but above all others, especially those who are alone.
Major French cities including Lille, Rouen, Dijon and Strasbourg were set to register new all-time highs, the national weather service said, joining a dozen others – including Bordeaux – to have set new records this week. The government remains haunted by the heatwave of summer 2003, which led to 15,000 premature deaths, particularly of elderly people, and heavy criticism of authorities for not mobilising fast enough. The health minister, Agnès Buzyn, said temperatures in the capital on Thursday could be 2C higher than in 2003.
With water restrictions in place in many areas, low river levels prompted officials to ban cruises on a 37-mile (60km) stretch of the River Danube in Germany. A zoo in Belgium said it was feeding frozen chickens to its tigers and watermelons encased in ice to its bears.
The peak of the latest heatwave is forecast to peak on Thursday, with cooler weather and rain expected to provide relief from Friday.
But in the meantime, 20 départements in northern France, 13 Italian cities and all of Belgium remained on red alert. The extreme temperatures follow a similar heatwave last month that made it the hottest June on record. The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Andorra, Luxembourg, Poland and Germany all set new monthly records, while France recorded its highest ever temperature of 45.9C in the southern commune of Gallargues-le-Montueux.
The World Meteorological Organization said the climate crisis was causing summer heatwaves to happen more often, start earlier and become more intense. Scientists have estimated that manmade global heating makes heatwaves five times more likely.
A study revealed this year by land Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich same the 2018 summer heatwave across geographical region would are “statistically impossible” while not global climate change driven by human activity.