Countries across Europe are experiencing record-breaking heat and temperatures are expected to climb above 40C in the hottest parts of France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland and Italy from Wednesday as hot winds from the Sahara blow in across the continent.
Three people have died from cold water shock on French beaches as the continent is gripped by heatwave hell. Germany imposes speed limits on highways while some French schools have delayed important exams and even closed to pupils altogether.
Officials have issued stark health alerts and warnings about the risk to life, urging people to keep cool, as sweltering temperatures are expected to intensify across the continent.
While one Spanish meteorologist warned the conditions would feel like “hell”, France’s weather agency Meteo issued an “orange” heat warning – the second-highest level of intensity – as French president Emmanuel Macron warned people to be “vigilant”.
The German Weather Service said the mercury hit 38.6 degrees Celsius (101.5 Fahrenheit) at 2:50 p.m. local time in Coschen, on the country’s border with Poland.
Radzyn in Poland and Doksany in the Czech Republic also recorded new national highs, with temperatures hitting 38.2C and 38.9C respectively.
While the UK will avoid the worst heat, parts of the country, including London are expected to see temperatures top 30C on Saturday.
Scientists have said Europe’s 2019 heatwave, like last year’s, was closely linked to the climate emergency and that such extreme weather events will be many times more likely over the coming decades.
Craig Snell, a Met Office forecaster told “The heat at the end of this week can be traced back to North Africa, but that heat has seeped into Spain and France, which will see record-breaking temperatures.
Dr Emer O’Connell, public health consultant at Public Health England, said: “For some people, such as older people, those with underlying health conditions and those with young children, the summer heat can bring real health risks.
“That’s why we’re urging everyone to keep an eye on those you know who may be at risk this summer”.
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