Rare Heatwave On Stream From Saharan Desert To Blister Western Europe This Week

Air imported directly from the Sahara Desert into Western Europe will result in a record-shattering heat wave this week that could break all-time monthly temperature records in some locations, including Spain, France, Belgium, Germany, Poland and Denmark.
An extended heat wave at the start of summer is a threat to public health, since people are not yet accustomed to such high temperatures, making them more susceptible to heat-related illnesses. Europe has a history of deadly heat events in recent years. In 2003, for example, an August heat wave contributed to as many as 70,000 excess deaths, primarily in France, and became the first extreme weather event to be tied to human-caused global warming.
Temperatures will climb into the mid-to-upper 30s°C, or upper 90s°F, across Spain, Portugal and France by Tuesday, and could exceed 40°C, or 104°F, by mid-to-late week in a wide swath of Western Europe. Weather agencies have hoisted warnings in multiple countries, and public officials are taking steps to open cooling centers in cities such as Paris to ensure residents have access to air conditioning.

  • Popular tourist destinations such as Madrid, Barcelona, Paris, London, Rome, Berlin, Brussels and Amsterdam will be affected by this heat wave, which is likely to peak late in the week but may continue through the weekend.
  • The heat in Paris could affect the Women’s World Cup, which runs through early July.
  • Accompanying the hot weather will be a chance for severe thunderstorms.
  • Stalled and unusually strong areas of high pressure — known as “blocking highs” — over Greenland and Europe will act to prevent weather systems from moving cooler air into Europe until at least early next week.
Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy:  AP
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