A look at the weather as heatwave spreads across Europe
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The EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Service made the announcement today as several cities in France recorded their hottest days of the year. The experts said the average surface air temperature in June-August was close to 1.0C above the 1991-2020 average. The previous warmest summers, 2010 and 2018, were 0.1C cooler.
Copernicus’ records go back to 1950 but are cross-referenced with other data sets that trace back to the mid-19th century.
The EU agency said, globally, August of this year was, together with the same month in 2017, the third-warmest on record at over 0.3C warmer than the 1991-2020 average.
For Europe, last month was near the 1991-2020 average, but with contrasting conditions across the Continent.
These included record-breaking maximum temperatures in Mediterranean countries, warmer-than-average temperatures in the east and generally below-average heats in the north.
Meanwhile a “heat pump” has caused the mercury to skyrocket in France, with temperatures 10 to 15C higher than the seasonal average.
A warm mass of air from Maghreb has engulfed the entire country.
From early on today, temperatures were already at a high level, mostly over 20C.
In addition, a southerly wind has superheated the Basque coast, with temperatures recorded at 30C in Ciboure at 5am.
There have been 39C peaks in the Basque Country, according to local reports.
The heat is expected to intensify with three-quarters of the country registering temperatures of over 30C.
Meteo-France has forecast highs of 33C in Brittany, Touraine, Poitou and Berry.
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The foot of the Pyrenees is expected to hit 34C and the Nantes region could reach 35C.
Many historic records set previously for September are expected to be beaten this month.
The heatwave has also reached the UK, with parts of England and Wales expected to see temperatures of up to 29C in the coming days.
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Forecasters have said people in some areas will bask in sweltering heat from Monday to Wednesday.
But they have warned this weather is unlikely to last beyond then.
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