Europe sets heat records as much of continent sizzles


High temperature forecast for Europe on Wednesday

Temperatures should surge to at least 95 to 105 degrees (35 to 40 degrees Celsius) over a sprawling area.

"Europe is now under historically strong upper ridge", Mika Rantanen, a meteorologist in Finland, tweeted Wednesday.

Because such high temperatures are rare in France, most homes and many buildings do not have air conditioning. "We should expect more intense and frequent heat waves with climate change, because it will accentuate the extremes".

Temperatures in Germany on Wednesday could surpass a June high of 38.2 degrees Celsius (101 Fahrenheit), according to the country's DWD weather service.

Silvia Laplana, a meteorologist with Spain's state-owned RTVE channel, tweeted a time lapse of the heat wave intensifying as the week progresses.

Temperatures in Madrid will top 100 degrees Thursday through Sunday - and there's little respite in sight.

During the record 2003 European heat wave, more than 14,000 people died in France alone.

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From Spain to Poland, temperatures are forecast to be at least 20 to 30 degrees (11 to 17 degrees Celsius) above normal.

Even Copenhagen on the main island of Denmark is set to head into the 80s. The new record is a tenth-of-a-degree higher than the previous national record for June, set in 1947 in southwestern Germany.

Meteo France said France's all-time record could be broken - an August 12, 2003 reading of 44.1 C in Saint-Christol-les-Ales and Conqueyrac in the southern Gard region.

Temperatures are expected to fall next week but will still remain well above the norms for this time of the year.

A ferocious heat wave has overtaken parts of Europe. As they become linked and flex over coming days, they'll also act to block a low-pressure system to their south, which would draw cooler air over Europe. An upper ridge is the technical term for this extensive zone of high pressure or heat dome.

Meteorologists say the extremely hot weather in June is due to warm air moving from Africa to Central Europe.

"On Saturday however, the warmth will spread across eastern parts of the United Kingdom with temperatures peaking around 33 to 34 Celsius".

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Tomorrow Rome is also expected to reach 38C, Toulouse in France 40C and in northern Spain 42C is predicted for Zaragoza.

"So far this summer it's often been cool and it's often been raining", notes the BBC.

In Paris, authorities banned older cars from the city for the day as the heat wave aggravates the city's pollution.

The unusual temperatures are set to break records in Europe. As a result, drought and wildfires were rampant.

The broader weather regime behind this heat wave has connections to the stagnant high-pressure zone responsible for the big Greenland melt event in mid-June. Unfortunately, there's no clear sign showing when the extreme heat may end. Such patterns may be becoming more common in a warming world.

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