Southern Europe is already sizzling — and yet Europe’s heat wave is set to intensify in the coming days.
Low early summer rainfall has already set up drought conditions across large swaths of Portugal, Spain, Italy and Central Europe. And this week a slow-moving high pressure area has brought scorching air up from North Africa. That has set temperature records tumbling in Spain and Portugal.
Lousã in the center of Portugal hit 46.3 Celsius on Wednesday and firefighters were battling 26 wildfires across the country yesterday. In Spain too, the country’s meteorological agency issued a heat wave alert lasting until at least Monday. The scorching heat fueled blazes in Spain and southwestern France. The largest fire in the Gironde department on the Atlantic coast has burned more than 1,000 hectares around the town of Landiras, south of Bordeaux. 500 residents had to be evacuated.
The intense heat is due to move north and eastward over the weekend and into next week, engulfing northern France, the U.K. Belgium and Germany. The U.K.’s Met Office issued an unusual amber extreme heat warning for much of England and parts of Wales for Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Climate scientists predict that droughts are due to intensify in future due to climate change.
With the mercury rising and more temperature records set to tumble next week, here’s Europe’s heat wave in charts:
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