Europe braces for another heatwave as forecasters predict record-breaking temperatures this week

Key Points
  • Much of Europe was engulfed in a sweltering heatwave from the end of June into early July, with temperatures climbing to 44.3 degrees Celsius in France's southern Vaucluse region.
  • Forecasters now expect to see another bout of extreme heat across the continent over the coming days.
  • "The U.K. will experience another pulse of high temperatures this week, with the possibility of records being broken for not only July but also all-time records," Paul Gundersen, chief meteorologist at the Met Office, said in a press statement on Monday.
The temperature in France on June 28 surpassed 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit) for the first time as Europe wilted in a major heatwave, state weather forecaster Meteo France said. Another bout of extreme weather is expected later this week.
ZAKARIA ABDELKAFI | AFP | Getty Images

Europe is set to endure its second record-breaking heatwave in as many months this week, with temperatures expected to climb close to and above 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) in several countries across the continent.

It comes after soaring temperatures worldwide made last month the hottest June ever recorded, prompting some climate groups to warn of an "ecological emergency."

Much of Europe was engulfed in a sweltering heatwave from the end of June into early July, with temperatures climbing to 44.3 degrees Celsius in France's southern Vaucluse region.

And forecasters now expect to see another bout of extreme heat across the continent over the coming days.

Wildfire risk

Meteorological service Meteo France has predicted temperatures in Paris could exceed 41 degrees Celsius on Thursday, with "absolute heat records" under threat in several cities across the country.

The French capital has never seen the mercury climb above 41 degrees Celsius. The current record of 40.4 degrees Celsius was recorded back in 1947.

The rise in extreme weather, which has been linked to an intensifying climate crisis, has made the wildfire season in Europe longer and more dangerous.

The Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), which is tasked with providing comprehensive climate information for the EU, has warned another anticipated period of scorching heat will amplify the wildfire risk, particularly across France, Spain and Portugal.

The CS3's Emergency Management Service (EMS) has reportedly issued the highest threat level for forest fires across almost all of France and Spain, with "high" or "very high" threat levels forecast for large swathes of Portugal, Italy, Belgium and Germany.

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In the U.K., the Met Office has said the July-high temperature of 36.7 degrees Celsius and the U.K. temperature record of 38.5 degrees Celsius could both be tied or surpassed on Thursday.

"The U.K. will experience another pulse of high temperatures this week, with the possibility of records being broken for not only July but also all-time records," Paul Gundersen, chief meteorologist at the Met Office, said in a press statement on Monday.

"The weather setup is broadly similar to the pattern that brought high temperatures to much of continental Europe at the end of June," Gundersen said.

Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg could also see all-time high temperatures this week, with highs of 39 degrees Celsius seen across all three countries.

July could be the warmest month ever measured on Earth

The latest continental weather warnings come after data collected by C3S showed global average temperatures for June 2019 were the highest on record for the month.

The data showed the global average temperature was 0.1 degrees Celsius warmer than the previous June record, set in 2016.

"This is significant," climate scientist Michael Mann said via Twitter last week, responding to data from Nasa also showing that last month was the hottest June ever recorded.

"But stay tuned for July numbers. July is the warmest month of the year globally. If this July turns out to be the warmest July (it has a good shot at it), it will be the warmest month we have ever measured on Earth," Mann said. (Parentheses in the quote are his).