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Intense heatwave to strike Europe

June 25, 2019 06:57 AM


Intense heatwave to strike Europe
Orange alert in Paris this week; experts say heat wave caused by hot winds from Sahara Desert

The sunset had an orange glow and so does the new heat alert level for Paris. Authorities around the French capital have issued an orange alert for intense heat—the second-highest level on its scale—as very hot temperatures are expected across continental Europe this week.

France’s national weather agency Meteo France said the heatwave beginning Monday is expected to last all week with temperatures of up to 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) across the country. The peak is expected Thursday.

In Paris, charity organizations are patrolling the streets to provide water to homeless people and local authorities have organised air-conditioned places where they can seek shelter.

Meteorologists say the heatwave is caused by hot winds coming from the Sahara Desert. French health minister Agnes Buzyn said Monday that “everything is ready, in retirement homes, in hospitals, in transports”.

Organizers at the Women’s World Cup, which is being hosted by France, could be faced with implementing FIFA heat precautions, since knockout soccer games are being played every day this week except Wednesday and Sunday.

Similar heat is also expected in Belgium, Switzerland and Germany. Parts of northeastern Germany are also at high risk for forest fires. Scientists say measurements show heatwaves in Europe are becoming more frequent. “This increase in heat extremes is just as predicted by climate science as a consequence of global warming caused by the increasing greenhouse gases from burning coal, oil and gas,” Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research said Dim Coumou, a scientist at the Free University of Amsterdam, said melting Arctic sea ice is also affecting atmospheric circulation, which in turn makes extreme heat more likely.

“Data analysis shows that the normally eastward travelling summer circulation of the Northern Hemisphere mid-latitudes has slowed down, including the Jet Stream,” he said

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