France and the UK are reeling from a deadly heatwave after ravaging Spain and Portugal, with both countries likely to record record temperatures. Scientists say climate change is a key factor involved in this ongoing disaster.
The big picture: It was one of the worst heatwaves on record in Western Europe, prompting thousands to evacuate parts of France, Spain and Portugal due to wildfires.
- Britain’s government on Friday declared an unprecedented national heat emergency amid concerns over public health from the scorching temperatures. The UK Met Office is reviewing the country’s forecast. The first occurrence of a temperature of 104°F (40°C)..
- The current national temperature stands at 101.66°F (38.7°C), which is set in 2019. The Met Office has predicted an 80% chance of it hitting by Wednesday.
- The highest temperature in France is forecast for Monday, with temperatures of 104°F (40°C) or higher, especially in western parts of the country. Metto France explained.
Context: Studies show that climate change will make such heat waves warmer and more frequent and long-lasting than they used to be.
Threat level: Wildfires are burning in southern France, northern Spain and parts of Portugal and Greece as heatwaves and drought conditions continue. Particularly intense fires were reported Sunday in Malaga, Spain, and near Bordeaux, France, according to the AP.
- Extreme heat is deadly, especially for vulnerable groups such as the elderly, those with pre-existing medical conditions and anyone unable to cool down. This is of particular concern to people in Great Britain, as only 3% of homes in that country have air conditioning.
- The heat has already proven deadly in Portugal, where the Ministry of Health reported 659 heat-related deaths last week, according to Reuters. In the year In 2003, a heat wave in France killed an estimated 30,000 to 70,000 people.
- Heat waves are especially dangerous when overnight temperatures are high enough to make people uncomfortable. Multiple records b Warm temperature overnight In Western Europe, this event has been prepared so far.
- In addition to public health concerns, heat waves can be disruptive in other ways. In the United Kingdom, the authorities are warning against traveling by train as the temperature can disrupt the railways.
- Even air travel can be affected, as heavy planes fly into hot concrete and need longer runways for takeoff.
In numbers: Dozens of monthly and even all-time temperature records have been set or tied in Western Europe. It originates from North West Africa..
- 116.6°F (47.0°C): A previous national July heat record was set Thursday in Pinhão, Portugal.
- 107.24°F (41.8°C): An all-time high temperature was recorded in Pamplona, Spain on Saturday.
- 30: According to meteorologist Maximiliano Herrera, the number of monthly temperature records set in France on Saturday.
- 98.6°F (37°C): According to the Met Office, expect high temperatures in London on Tuesday.
- 7: According to the UK Met Office, the number of countries with national all-time high temperature records under threat. These include France, Spain, Luxembourg, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Germany.
Meanwhile… In the US, where extreme heat has wreaked havoc on the Texas power grid for weeks and set several temperature records, the coming week looks set to be hotter than any other this winter.
- On Tuesday, temperatures will soar into the 100s from Texas to Nebraska, with tens of millions predicted to see such extreme temperatures.
- Oklahoma City can see high temperatures as high as 112°F with heat index values. Almost every weather station in Texas seems to be in the triple digits.
- The heat will linger, with computer models showing unusually high temperatures for several more weeks as the heat dome shifts further west, setting up warm, dry conditions from Colorado to California.
- This could worsen wildfire season, and worsen an already severe drought in the West.