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WEATHER

Sunny and dry: Germany records hottest April ever

Deutschland last month saw the highest average temperatures ever recorded for the month of April, according to the German Weather Service (DWD).

Sunny and dry: Germany records hottest April ever
A film festival in Stuttgart in late April 2018. Photo: DPA

Last month was the warmest April since weather records began well over a century ago in 1881, the DWD reported on Monday.

The average temperature throughout Germany last month was 12.4C – that is a whole 5C higher than the April value from the internationally valid comparison period from 1961-1990 and 4C above a later reference period from 1981-2010.

It was dry with above-average sunshine duration and particularly summer-like in the second half of the month, the DWD states, adding that April saw a clear lack of precipitation.

Southern regions of the country enjoyed the largest amount of sun; Bavaria tied with its neighbour Baden-Württemberg as both racked up 250 hours of sunshine.

SEE ALSO: Summer in April? Highs of up to 30C on the way for parts of Germany

Berlin stands out as the federal state which had the highest average temperature in April at 13.8C, as the Statista infographic below shows.

The German capital was followed by Brandenburg, Saxony-Anhalt and Saxony – each with an average temperature of 13C.

The states which showed the largest deviation (5.7C) from the multi-year average were Saxony and Thuringia, respectively.

And on the other end of the scale, Schleswig-Holstein was Germany's coldest state in April with temperatures averaging just 9.9C.

In order to find the coldest ever April one would have to go way back in history, according to the DWD, as the warmest months have all been recorded in recent years. 

In the years 1903, 1917 and 1929, average temperatures of below 5C were registered. The discrepancy between these temperatures and the ones recorded nowadays can be attributed to the effects of climate change, says DWD spokesman Gerhard Lux.

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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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