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WEATHER

Year’s first heat wave set to hit Germany

The first heat wave of the year is set to hit Germany this week, with temperatures poised to crack 30 degrees Celsius in the southwestern part of the country.

Year's first heat wave set to hit Germany
Photo: DPA

The hot air blasting up from Africa won’t likely make it all the way to Germany’s northern coast, according to the German Weather Service in Offenbach. However, the front will bring the north its first measurable amount of precipitation in weeks.

On Monday, the north will see scattered showers with occasional thunderstorms. The rest of Germany will be cloudy yet dry, and the extreme southwest will experience a few thunderstorms late in the afternoon. A brisk easterly wind will keep the coastal regions up north a cool 15 to 19 degrees. In the rest of Germany, the mercury will hit between 20 and 27 degrees. The far south will get a sampling of the coming heat wave with pockets of temperatures rising to 30 degrees. Monday night will cool down to 11 to 16 degrees.

On Tuesday, much of the country will remain dry outside of the north. Mountainous regions could experience occasional thunderstorms. Average temperatures will hit 22 to 28 degrees, but the southwest will start to sweat with highs well into the 30s.

Wednesday will bring showers and thunderstorms in the western part of Germany, and temperatures will range from 17 to 30 degrees.

WILDFIRES

Europe facing record year for wildfire destruction: EU

Europe's blistering summer may not be over yet, but 2022 is already breaking records, with nearly 660,000 hectares ravaged since January, according to the EU's satellite monitoring service.

Europe facing record year for wildfire destruction: EU

And while countries on the Mediterranean have normally been the main seats of fires in Europe, this year, other countries are also suffering heavily.

Fires this year have forced people to flee their homes, destroyed buildings and burned forests in EU countries, including Austria, Croatia, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain.

Some 659,541 hectares (1.6 million acres) have been destroyed so far, data from the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) showed, setting a record at this point in the year since data collection began in 2006.

Europe has suffered a series of heatwaves, forest fires and historic drought that experts say are being driven by human-induced climate change.

They warn more frequent and longer heatwaves are on the way.

The worst-affected country has been Spain, where fire has destroyed 244,924 hectares, according to EFFIS data.

The EFFIS uses satellite data from the EU’s Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS).

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: How the climate crisis is hitting Europe hard

The data comes after CAMS said Friday that 2022 was a record year for wildfire activity in southwestern Europe and warned that a large proportion of western Europe was now in “extreme fire danger”.

“2022 is already a record year, just below 2017,” EFFIS coordinator Jesus San-Miguel said. In 2017, 420,913 hectares had burned by August 13, rising to 988,087 hectares by the end of the year.

“The situation in terms of drought and extremely high temperatures has affected all of Europe this year and the overall situation in the region is worrying, while we are still in the middle of the fire season,” he said.

Since 2010, there had been a trend towards more fires in central and northern Europe, with fires in countries that “normally do not experience fires in their territory”, he added.

“The overall fire season in the EU is really driven mainly by countries in the Mediterranean region, except in years like this one, in which fires also happen in central and northern regions,” he added.

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