A potentially record-breaking heatwave is forecast to grip much of continental Europe next week, with temperatures in cities from Spain to Germany expected to exceed 32 C and climb to more than 38 C or even 40 C in some areas.
The combination of a storm stalled over the Atlantic and high pressure over central Europe would pull the hot air from Africa northward, leading to a 'potentially dangerous heat wave over a large portion of western and central Europe' one forecaster, AccuWeather, has said.
“Even though it will be shortlived, this heatwave could be remarkable for its momentum and intensity,” the forecaster said in a bulletin.
France’s health minister, Agnès Buzyn, warned local authorities, hospitals and retirement homes to be on high alert, noting that last summer’s heat wave resulted in 1,500 more deaths than normal in July and August.
Meteorologists in Germany said there was a 50% chance of temperatures hitting 40C, possibly breaking the national record of 40.3C set in Bavaria in 2015.
AccuWeather said cities from Madrid to Berlin, including Paris, Brussels and Frankfurt, were likely to experience a “multi-day heatwave” in the first half of the week, with similar temperatures of 32C or above expected further east later in Bucharest, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade and Sofia.
'Multiple days of extreme heat combined with warm nights will not allow buildings and homes without air conditioning to cool off, creating uncomfortable sleeping conditions and also raising the risk of heat-related illnesses,' the senior meteorologist said.