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Western Europe Set To Be Hit By Hottest Heatwave Since 2003

Western Europe Set To Be Hit By Hottest Heatwave Since 2003

Exams have been postponed in Paris

Dominic Smithers

Dominic Smithers

If you're heading to Europe on your jollies this year, then you may want to read this, as holidaymakers are being warned to brace themselves for a heatwave.

Meteorologists predict temperatures could reach as high as 45C in some places, making it the hottest year since 2003 when 15,000 people died in France after temperatures in the south of the country peaked at 44.1 C.

According to experts, countries such as France, Portugal and Spain will be the worst affected, while other European nations will also see higher than normal temperatures.

The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) warned temperatures could rise by as much as 6C.

In a tweet, the body said: "WMO regional climate centre for Europe @DWD_presse issued Climate Watch for #heatwave for the next week. Temperatures 3°C-6°C above average over central Europe and 1°C to 3°C elsewhere. Widespread daily maximum above 30°C. Follow advice from national met services."

Another weather expert, warning residents and tourists about the blast of heat set to hit Spain, simply said: "Hell is coming."

According to reports in France, Parisians have been put on alert to take extra precautions during the heatwave.

The city's mayor Anne Hidalgo sanctioned an action plan earlier this week, which will see public 'cool rooms' and additional water fountains created across the city; opening times for public swimming pools have also been extended.

School exams have been postponed, and people have been urged not to drink alcohol and wet their bodies multiple times a day.

Switzerland could see highs of 37C, while temperatures will reach at least 35C in Poland - a rise of 11 to 17C for this time of year.

It's claimed the surge of hot weather is being caused by a combination of storms in the Atlantic and high pressure over central Europe, which is seeing warmer air come in from the Sahara.

And while heatwaves are not uncommon, it's rare for the continent to witness such extremes. The news has led some to blame climate change.

Speaking to the Associated Press, Stefan Rahmstorf, a climatologist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, said: "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."

While a study published in Earth's Future earlier this month, also claimed the impact of man was undeniable.

It said: "Extremely high temperatures pose an immediate threat to humans and ecosystems. In recent years, many regions on land and in the ocean experienced heatwaves with devastating impacts that would have been highly unlikely without human-induced climate change."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Paris, Weather, Europe, Interesting, heatwave, Spain, Twitter, France