Intense heat wave to strike Paris and across Europe

Intense’ heatwave to hit Europe next week

Intense’ heatwave to hit Europe next week

Europe is bracing for blistering weather this week as hot air from the Sahara is expected to bring temperatures of 104F (40C) to cities across the continent - including the French capital of Paris.

The highest temperatures during the heatwave are expected to be in Paris, Madrid, Prague, Munich and Zurich, with cities further also set to swelter.

Birds fly by as the sun rises in Frankfurt, Germany, Monday, June 24, 2019.

Spain's AEMET weather agency issued a "yellow alert" for severe weather on Sunday, but said it expected the heat to peak later in the week with temperatures soaring over 40C, particularly inland.

Europeans are set to bake in what forecasters are warning will likely be record-breaking temperatures for June with the mercury set to peak mid-week.

In Paris, charity organizations patrolled the streets to provide homeless people with water, while local authorities organized air-conditioned public places where people could seek shelter from the heat.

France is wary of a repeat of the intense heatwave of summer 2003, when almost 15,000 died over a two-week period, majority elderly. Those precautions include holding official cooling breaks during the match or even postponing it if the heat at the stadium is too high.

"High temperatures will increase", said Meteo France.

"I'm anxious about people who are downplaying this, who are continuing to exercise as usual or stay out in the sun", French Health Minister Agnes Buzyn said.

The temperatures will be most intense from Thursday, forecasters say, and high humidity is likely to make conditions even more hard, especially at night.

"Yet when people are fragile, even when everything is organized, there's always a higher mortality rate", she warned.

The Dutch "Heat Plan" comes into action when continuous temperatures above 27 degrees Celsius are forecast.

In Belgium, the Royal Meteorological Institute also issued a severe heat warning, saying it was expecting temperatures in the range of 93F to 95F (34C to 35C) from Tuesday, with similar hot weather also expected in Switzerland.

Rescue services urged people to look out for young children, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems who are at particular risk in high temperatures.

Parts of northeastern Germany are also at high risk for forest fires. Authorities in the eastern state of Brandenburg, which circles Berlin, say the risk of forest fires is at the highest level in the coming days.

This latest intense heatwave again shows the impact of global warming on the planet, and such weather conditions are likely to become more frequent, meteorologists said.

"This increase in heat extremes is just as predicted by climate science as a outcome of global warming caused by the increasing greenhouse gases from burning coal, oil and gas", he added. "This favors the buildup of hot and dry conditions over the continent, sometimes turning a few sunny days into risky heat waves".

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