Heading into this week, large parts of Europe are preparing for blazing temperatures to top off what has already been an extraordinarily hot summer. In June, final exams in French schools were rescheduled, cool rooms were opened to provide shelter in government buildings and Germany introduced speed limits on parts of its motorway network to prevent accidents in case of heat-related road damages. France set a new temperature record for the country as a whole, recording 45.9° C at Gallargues-le-Montueux in the Gard département on June 28. Starting this Tuesday, large parts of Southern and Western Europe are once again placed under a heat advisory.
As the following chart, based on Accuweather data, shows, temperatures in major European cities have exceeded historical averages by a significant margin for large parts of June and July, with daily temperature highs regularly beating average highs by 10 and more degrees Celsius. While early July was colder than average in some cities, temperatures are now rising to new heights.
Extreme weather is expected to become more frequent due to climate change
in the future. According to Friederike Otto, acting director at the Environmental Change Institute at Oxford University, the likelihood of heatwaves in southern Europe is already 10 times higher than it was in pre-industrial times.