British holidaymakers could face deadly 40-degree heatwave set to hit mainland Europe

By Conor Matchett
Monday, 24th June 2019, 4:56 pm
Updated Monday, 24th June 2019, 5:58 pm
Tourists heading to Europe may have to contend with temperatures of more than 40 degrees in France, Spain and Germany (Photo: Shutterstock)
Tourists heading to Europe may have to contend with temperatures of more than 40 degrees in France, Spain and Germany (Photo: Shutterstock)

Tourist cities such as Paris and Rome could reach 40 degrees as continental Europe braces itself for a potentially deadly heatwave.

France, Italy, Spain and Germany are likely to see some of the hottest weather on record, with forecasters predicting the temperature to beat records set in 2003 when nearly 15,000 people died.

The record temperature in France is currently 44.1 degrees, with Paris forecasted to reach around 35 degrees or more on Monday and climb further until the peak on Thursday and Friday this week.

The north of the country will be worst affected.

Temporary fountains

The French capital has put its ‘level three’ extreme heat plan into action, with level four - an option that has never been used - available if temperatures skyrocket well above predictions.

As part of the plan, 900 ‘cool places’ will be designated as areas that are cooler than the surrounding city streets.

These will include parks, air-conditioned public halls and areas with temporary fountains and mist machines.

There will also be 13 parks open at night for the public to cool down in.

Weather forecasters have warned that high humidity will make 40 degrees feel like 47 degrees in the capital.

The national record for temperatures in June in France is 41.5 degrees.

Germany, Italy and Spain also affected

Brits travelling abroad to Europe this week should take appropriate measures to ensure they can stay cool with temperatures also likely to hit close to 40 degrees in Spain, Italy and Germany.

Even cities such as Prague and Zurich are expected to hit the mid-30s, meaning tourists and residents alike are being advised to stay cool and avoid drinking alcohol in excess during the heatwave.

Temperatures in Madrid are likely to peak at 41 degrees on Thursday, with popular holiday spots including Majorca also likely to push 40 degrees.

What is causing the hot weather?

Very hot air from the Saharan desert is in the process of being pulled north over Europe, with the mainland likely to see one day of heat and high humidity which could make it feel like it is 50 degrees, rather than the expected 40.

The combination of hot air plus the sun’s position in the sky means temperatures can easily rise.

What to do in a heatwave

The NHS warns of potential dehydration and exhaustion during a heatwave, so for tourists, it may be important to plan carefully before heading abroad.

Advice includes shutting windows during the day when it’s hot outside and only opening them at night when it’s cool, as well as taking cool baths and showers.

During a heatwave, experts recommend drinking plenty of fluids (not alcohol), and wearing loose, cool clothing along with a hat and sunglasses for going outdoors.

This story originally appeared on our sister site, The Scotsman.