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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Heatwaves in Europe. Another heatwave in the south of the continent. “We are already in uncharted territory”

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A new heatwave began earlier this week in southern European countries. The temperature in Italy is expected to be well above 40 degrees Celsius. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said the heatwave in parts of the Mediterranean basin would intensify from mid-week and could last into August.

Hot air from Africa and extreme heat affect much of southern Europe. Meteorologist Rebekah Sherwin from the British Met Office said that the current heat in the south of the continent is 10-15 degrees Celsius above average.

Heat is forecast to intensify from mid-week in parts of the Mediterranean, including Greece and Turkey, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said on Monday. It added that a continuation of the heat “in August is likely”.

Record heat in Europe

The WMO said new heat records have been set in the northern hemisphere and more may yet be broken. The organization emphasized in its communication that heat waves are among the deadliest natural threats, with thousands of people dying every year as a result of very high air temperatures.

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“We are in uncharted territory”

According to Carlo Buontempo of the EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), heatwaves are becoming more frequent as predicted by scientists.

– We are already in completely uncharted territory. We’ve never seen anything like this in our history,” Buontempo said.

As the director general of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus tweeted, “In many parts of the world, Monday is predicted to be the warmest day on record. (…) Heatwaves threaten our health and lives. The climate crisis is not a warning this is happening. I call on world leaders to act now.”

Earlier this month, the US National Centers for Environmental Prediction reported that Monday, July 3, was the hottest day on record. The average global temperature reached 17.01 degrees C. The previous record was set in August 2016, when 16.92 degrees C was recorded.

Hot flash in Italy, possible 47 degrees

Not the Eternal, but the Infernal City – this is what the Italian and foreign press write these days about Rome, where for many days there has been a record and constantly rising temperature. It is supposed to reach 43 degrees Celsius. The situation in the capital of Italy is extremely difficult, because it is visited by tens of thousands of tourists who, in crowded historic areas, have to face the intense heat that came with another African anticyclone.

A heatwave is expected to hit Italy this week. The greatest heat is forecast for Sicily, Sardinia and Apulia, where hundreds of thousands of tourists rest. In the area of ​​Cagliari in Sardinia it is supposed to be 47 degrees, in Syracuse, Agrigento and near Enna in Sicily and in Foggia in Puglia – 44-45 degrees.

The highest temperature ever recorded in Europe is 48.8 degrees in Sicily in August 2021, the Reuters agency reminded.


On Monday, the highest, red level of alert applies in 17 Italian cities. On Tuesday, such an alert, by decision of the Italian Ministry of Health, will be in force in 20 cities: Rome, Ancona, Bologna, Bolzano, Brescia, Cagliari, Campobasso, Florence, Frosinone, Latina, Messina, Naples, Palermo, Perugia, Pescara, Rieti, Trieste, Venice, Verona and Viterbo. On Wednesday, the number of cities under red alert will increase to 23, which will be a record. The list will expand to include Bari, Catania, Civitavecchia and Turin, but without Bolzano. The current climatic conditions pose a threat to the entire population, not only to children, the elderly and the sick, warns the Ministry of Health.



Third heatwave in Spain

The third heatwave this summer hit Spain on Monday. It will be the hottest in the center of the country. In the valley of the Guadalquivir river, temperatures could exceed 42 degrees and locally reach as high as 44 degrees, the national meteorological institution AEMET warned. The highest temperature in Spain was recorded in 1995, when the mercury reached 46.6 degrees Celsius at the airports in Córdoba and Seville.




The heat in Croatia deformed the tracks, a train derailed

Record-breaking high temperatures in Croatia led to the deformation of railway tracks and three wagons of a freight train fell off them, HRT television reported on Monday. The train derailed near the village of Velika Ludina in central Croatia on Sunday evening. Due to the accident, a section of the tracks was closed to freight and passenger traffic. It is expected to be restored within the next three days. Experts investigating the accident claim that if a passenger train had passed through this section, it could easily have gone off the tracks. Due to the heat in all of Croatia – with the exception of one region where the red alert is in force – the orange weather alert is in force. Authorities are urging people to be careful and avoid staying outside for long periods of time if possible.


The Acropolis was closed in Greece

Late last week, the Greek Ministry of Culture closed the Acropolis to visitors at least twice due to the extreme heat. The temperature exceeded 40 degrees C. Several parks were also closed. The heatwave has significantly increased the risk of wildfires, and some events scheduled for Saturday in the capital have been cancelled.

Long lines to the AcropolisPAP/EPA/ORESTIS PANAGIOTOU

The General Secretariat for Civil Protection has ordered a state of emergency throughout the country to allow for a quick response to any problems that the heat may cause.

The temperature in Romania on Monday reached 40 degrees C. In one of the Serbian cities, 38 degrees C was measured, and in seven the temperature reached 37 degrees C.

The heat in RomaniaPAP/EPA/Robert Ghement



Unusual heat also visited our neighbors. It was close to 40 degrees in the Czech Republic on Saturday.

WMO, Reuters, PAP, tvnmeteo.pl

Main photo source: EPA/MASSIMO PERCOSSI, Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S)

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