Paris hits new heat record, London boils in Europe heatwave
Record temperatures are being set across Europe, including in Paris, as the continent sweltered Thursday in what was its second heatwave this summer.
Climate scientists warn that this could become the new normal in many parts of the world. But temperate Europe – where air conditioning is rare – isn’t equipped for the temperatures frying the region this week.
So tourists frolicked in fountains to seek relief, and authorities and volunteers fanned out to help the elderly, sick, and homeless hit hardest by the heat. Trains were cancelled in Britain and France, and French authorities urged travellers to stay home.
One by one, heat records are being broken across Europe. On Thursday afternoon the Paris area hit 42.4° C (108.3° F), beating the previous record of 40.4° C (104.8° F) set in 1947. Authorities said the temperature was still rising as a result of hot, dry air coming from northern Africa that trapped between cold stormy systems.
The Netherlands and Belgium also reported new record heats.
The Netherlands’ meteorological institute said 40.4° C (104.72° F) was recorded Thursday in the municipality of Gilze Rijen, near the border with Belgium. That just eclipsed the 39.3° C (102.74° F) recorded a day earlier in the southern city of Eindhoven.
In Belgium, the new all-time high rose to 40.6° C (105.° F).
“This is the highest recorded temperature for Belgium in history since the beginning of the measurements in 1833,” said Alex Dewalque from the Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium.
Britain also expects to breach the 39° C (102° F) mark for the first time after London recording its hottest day on record for July, with the mercury climbing to 36.9°C (98°F) at Heathrow Airport.