Germany’s temperature record smashed as Europe’s heat wave intensifies

‘Remarkable’ Heatwave Hits Paris, Continental Europe (Photos, Videos)

European public health bodies are trying to prevent a repeat of a year ago, when heat waves resulted in deaths in Spain and Portugal and drought conditions in Germany and Sweden.

The heatwave is set to peak Thursday and Friday.

National weather agency Meteo France says the hot weather could produce temperatures of up to 40°C across the country just as the summer tourist season shifts into high gear. The new record is a tenth-of-a-degree higher than the previous national record for June, set in 1947 in southwestern Germany. In Berlin, it was 21 C, down from around 37 C on Wednesday.

And in Munich, security guards ordered a group of women sunbathing topless on the banks of the river Isar to cover up.

The move backfired, according to the Munich newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung, which quoted another sunbather as saying she and others took their tops off "out of solidarity".

Meanwhile, police in Brandenburg cautioned a naked man for driving his moped wearing only his helmet and sandals.

A potentially record shattering heat wave is predicted to ravage Europe from Wednesday, 26 June to Friday, reports The Washington Post.

On Wednesday Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic recorded their highest-ever temperatures for June.

As Germans attempted to cool off amid scorching temperatures, at least four people died in bathing accidents in different parts of the country on Wednesday. Temperatures at night have also been record-setting, presenting a unsafe situation for those without access to air-conditioning and vulnerable groups such as older adults and the very young.

On Friday we will have high pressure over the United Kingdom and low pressure out in the Atlantic, and that will bring settled weather conditions across the United Kingdom and an easterly flow of air across the southern half of the country.

Neighbors should check on older people during the heat wave, urged Silbernetz, a German old age charity.

In parts of northeastern Spain, it may reach 45C on Friday. A record portion of the country is under alerts for heat.

More than half of France, including the capital of Paris, is in the midst of an extreme heatwave this week, which has prompted the city to open extra swimming pools and set up mist machines, among other precautions.

On Thursday, France could challenge its highest temperature recorded in June or any month. Actual temperatures should surge to at least 35 to 40 deg C over a sprawling area.

Such temperatures are far above average across Central and Western Europe, hiking the potential danger, CNN senior meteorologist Brandon Miller said. However, the full toll directly linked to the heatwave would only be known in the days or weeks ahead.

"Europe is now under historically strong upper ridge", Mika Rantanen, a meteorologist in Finland, tweeted Wednesday.

Together, the zones of high pressure, combined with the cooler low-pressure zone offshore, will steer a "Spanish plume" over mainland Europe and the United Kingdom.

The upper level ridge is a double-edged sword.

Some locations could be even hotter, especially within cities where a "heat island" effect from asphalt and concrete increases temperatures.

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