Extreme heat continues its march across Western Europe

Britain prepares for its hottest day in history as a heat wave sweeps across Europe. Follow live updates here . LONDON – Weather maps f...


Britain prepares for its hottest day in history as a heat wave sweeps across Europe. Follow live updates here.

LONDON – Weather maps for Europe were blood red on Sunday as heat that scorched Spain and Italy and fanned fires in southwestern France headed north towards Britain .

London was hot in the 80s, but temperatures on Monday and Tuesday were expected to reach 100 or more and break records in a place where air conditioning is scarce and buildings are built to retain heat.

In France, the extreme temperatures that fueled wildfires in the south are expected to spread to the north, particularly along the Atlantic coast, which was bracing for unusually hot weather.

In Italy, where temperatures were expected to be in the 90s on Sunday, the heat was already bad enough, but the country is also experiencing its worst drought in years. The government has allocated 36.5 million euros, or about 36.8 million dollars, to water-scarce farmers in the northern regions. Two hydroelectric plants had to be closed in the region because there was not enough water to cool them.

And in Spain, a heatwave has entered its eighth day, with 30 wildfires burning across the country. Relief is hard to come by, even after the sun goes down – Saturday night was Madrid’s fifth straight “scorching night”, a term used when temperatures don’t dip below 77 degrees Fahrenheit. The previous record was three nights. Rubén del Campo, spokesman for the National Meteorological Agency, said that of the 27 scorching nights recorded over the past century, more than half, 15, were since 2012.

But attention in France on Sunday focused on wildfires, in the south-west Gironde near Bordeaux, where more than 1,200 firefighters were still battling to contain two separate blazes.

The fires have destroyed more than 10,000 hectares of vegetation and forced more than 14,000 people to evacuate since Tuesday, local authorities said.

So far, four firefighters have suffered minor injuries, they said, and damage to buildings and homes has been minimal. Still, authorities warned the situation was unstable, with higher temperatures and shifting winds expected on Monday.

“The weather conditions are very, very bad,” Vincent Ferrier, a local official in Langon, a region of Gironde, told reporters on Sunday. “These are obviously the worst conditions you can have when fighting a fire.”

In Rome, where we have been in the 90s for a week, street vendors dozed in the shade on Sunday morning while tourists filled their water bottles at the famous fountains.

“It’s hot – too hot to walk around during the day,” said Serena Vendoni, 57, a hairdresser from northern Italy who was visiting Rome with her family for a long weekend. “But it’s hot even at home. We have been turning on the air conditioning every day and night for almost two months now. »

She said her family’s electricity bill had skyrocketed as temperatures had rarely been below 86 for weeks.

“We want to be careful with the board,” Ms. Vendoni said. Energy prices have skyrocketed in Europe partly because of the war in Ukraine. “But we have to be able to live in the house – and sleep.”

On Sunday in Britain, people were making their own plans to weather the coming heat. The forecast for Monday and Tuesday was dire – on Friday the country’s national weather service issued the most severe warning it has for London and much of England.

The warning, a “red” alert, is meant to convey a risk to life, and health officials have stressed that even healthy people could be negatively affected. The public has been warned to try to stay out of the sun from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., to make only the essential journeys on these days, to avoid exercising during the hottest part of the day and to carry water with them.

The report was provided by Aurelien Breeden from Paris, Francheska Melendez from Foz do Farelo, Portugal, Gaia Pianigiani of Rome and Euan district from London.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Extreme heat continues its march across Western Europe
Extreme heat continues its march across Western Europe
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