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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

WaPo: Central and eastern Europe simmering in historic heat wave

by Jason Samenow, The Capital Weather Gang, The Washington Post, August 10, 2015

Central and eastern Europe are in the grips of a record-breaking heat wave, that may persist for at least another week to ten days. A number of locations in Germany set all-time highs last Friday and more records are likely to fall over the coming days, particularly in eastern Europe.
The heat wave commenced late last week. On Friday, Weather Underground meteorologist Bob Henson reported Berlin was among more than 100 towns and cities in Germany that tied or broke all-time record highs. Berlin hit 102 degrees (38.9 Celsius) breaking its previous hottest temperature of 101.5 degrees (38.6 Celsius).
On Saturday the core of the heat shifted east into Poland, where Warsaw registered its hottest August temperature ever recorded of 97.9 degrees, passing the previous record of 97.5 degrees (36.4 Celsius), AccuWeather reported. Through today, Warsaw has reached at least 90 degrees (32 Celsius) on seven straight days, AccuWeather said.
A massive heat dome or upper level ridge of high pressure – which is more or less stationary over central and eastern Europe – is responsible for the spell of scorching heat. Its intensity may wane some during the middle of the week before reloading next weekend.
The core of the heat this week will likely focus in Poland where temperatures are forecast to be 10-25 degrees above normal each day. The heat has forced the first power supply curbs in the country since the 1980s, Bloomberg reported.
“The weather conditions are cutting power production and hampering electricity transmission as low river levels result in cooling restrictions, while higher demand for air-conditioning squeezes the reserve margins required by the system,” Bloomberg said.
This is the second major heat wave to afflict Europe this summer. Whereas the current heat wave is focused in central and eastern Europe, the first stretch of blistering hot temperatures was centered in western Europe in early July.  Here’s a rundown of the some of the records that were set (note that the record in Germany was matched just this past Friday) at the time:
  • The new all-time high temperature for any location or date in Germany of 104.5 degrees was set July 5  in the city of Kitzingen. This breaks Germany’s previous record of 104.4 degrees set first in 1983 and then tied twice  in 2003.
  • The hottest June temperature ever recorded of 104 degrees occurred in Madrid on June 30.
  • On Tuesday, July 7, Geneva soared to 103.5 degrees, its highest temperature ever recorded. That’s the highest temperature ever recorded in all of Switzerland in July, and the second highest temperature ever recorded in the country during any month. Source: Jeff Masters
  • Paris soared to 103.5 degrees on July 1, the second-hottest temperature it has seen on any day since they began weather records (in 1873)
  • The new hottest temperature ever recorded in downtown Frankfurt of 102.2 degrees was set July 5, according to Jeff Masters, director of meteorology at Weather Underground. Masters found that the Frankfurt airport also set a new record for all-time hottest temperature July 5 at 101.8 degrees.
  • Via Jeff Masters: “The temperature in Maastricht, the Netherlands, hit 100.8 °F (38.2 °C) on July 2, setting an all-time July heat record for the nation.”
  • London Heathrow climbed to 98.1 degrees July 1, the hottest temperature ever recorded during the month of July anywhere in the U.K. The previous record of 97.7 degrees was set  July 19, 2006.
(Some reporting in this section by CWG’s Angela Fritz)

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