New heat wave in Europe

New heat wave in Europe

DAY

A new heat wave set in on Europe on Monday with a peak in temperatures expected from the weekend, the meteorological agency Météo-France said on Monday.

In France, temperatures exceeded 30°C on Monday over a large part of the country and could reach 36°C to 38°C on Tuesday in the South-West and the Rhône valley in particular.

The heat wave will then spread towards the Center, the East and then the North, before “marking a slight and temporary drop in the north of the country on Thursday and Friday”.

This new heat wave, after a particularly early first episode in June, is fed by “an axis of high pressure between Morocco, France and the British Isles”, which brings up very hot air from the south of the Mediterranean, indicated Matthieu Chevallier, forecaster at Météo-France.

An altitude depression on the Azores archipelago could possibly further reinforce the phenomenon, of which it is however still difficult to predict the intensity and the duration, even if it could turn into a heat wave (high temperatures day and night) from Sunday.

“We expect at least a duration of eight to ten days”, with a peak probably “between Saturday and Tuesday (July 19), specified Sébastien Léas, of Météo-France, while stressing that it was too early to evoke a phenomenon that could become comparable to the deadly heat wave of the summer of 2003.

These phenomena are accentuated by global warming, which has resulted in heat waves that will become “more frequent, earlier and later” and “increasingly hot summers, where 35°C becomes the norm and 40°C begins to be regularly reached”, noted Matthieu Sorel, climatologist at Météo-France.

France has experienced 44 heat waves since 1947, the last of which was in June. “Over the last 35 years, they have been three times more numerous than over the previous 35 years. The number of days of heat waves has been multiplied by nine”, recalls Météo-France.

The United Kingdom on alert

Britain's National Weather Service has issued an orange alert ahead of a wave of “extreme heat” from Sunday covering almost all of England and part of Wales, with temperatures that could exceed 35 °C in the South West.

Temperatures at the start of the week are already above average for the season, with up to 33°C expected in the South West on Monday and Tuesday.

“From Sunday and into Monday, temperatures are likely to exceed 35C in the South West, although details remain uncertain,” Rebekah Sherwin, Met Office deputy chief meteorologist, said in a statement.

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“Temperatures elsewhere could exceed 32°C in England and Wales,” she added.

The UK's record hottest record is set rises to 38.7°C, recorded at the Cambridge Botanical Garden (East of England) on July 25, 2019.

Some models even envisage an overshoot of the 40°C threshold in certain parts of the country next weekend and beyond.

“Over longer timescales, temperature forecasts become less reliable,” explained Rebekah Sherwin, “if these temperatures cannot be ruled out”, their probability is “low”.

While an average increase in temperatures of one degree may not seem significant, underlines the Met Office to the known jet of global warming, “the resulting increase in the severity of extreme heat events is already evident in the records,” “it has significant and widespread implications.”