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WEATHER

Temperatures rise, rain to keep falling

Summer may finally on its way, but those venturing outside should still keep an eye out for stubborn rainclouds, the German Weather Service (DWD) warned on Thursday.

Temperatures rise, rain to keep falling
Photo: DPA

Temperatures could reach a tropical 30 degrees Celsius in the southwest on Thursday, with highs of above 20 widespread elsewhere. While the south and east should stay fair and dry, the north and west are forecast to be cloudy and if very unlucky, may see thunder and hail in the afternoon.

This bad spell could continue into Thursday night, but temperatures nationwide should range from 10 to 17 degrees.

Friday is set to be a day of contrasts for the Bundesrepublik. The northwest will face a chilly end to the week, with temperatures plunging back down between 13 and 17 degrees. The rest of the country could see temperatures as high as 31 degrees, though.

Nowhere escapes the threat of unsettled skies though on Friday. Sustained gusty showers will pummel the north and while the south and east may escape the worst of the weather in the morning, residents should brace themselves for heavy downpours and even hail later on.

Friday night will be rainy in the south east and in mountain areas, according to the DWD, but otherwise clear. Temperatures are expected to range from 4 degrees in the north to 10 in the south.

In general terms, the DWD envisages a cooler but more settled weekend. Saturday should start with a sudden temperature drop, with it looking unlikely that temperatures will top 15 degrees.

But, showers will be isolated with strong winds confined to coastal and mountain areas. A cool and clear night is forecast, with temperatures dropping to 2 degrees Celsius and a chance of frost and rain in the Alps.

Sunday should welcome the arrival of a high-pressure area in the northwest, hopefully guaranteeing a pleasant day for most. A day out for Mothers Day could certainly be on the cards, but the DWD suggests taking a coat just in case.

The end of the week also signals the start of the Eisheiligen, the succession of saints’ days from 11 to 15 May that supposedly bring colder weather but herald the imminent approach of summer. DWD has them at least partly living up to their name, with frost a strong possibility on Saturday and Sunday nights.

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WILDFIRES

2022 sees record wildfire destruction in Europe: 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.

2022 sees record wildfire destruction in Europe: 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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