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Heatwave in Italy
Photograph: Vereshchagin Dmitry /

Europe is experiencing an intense heatwave right now

From Spain and Italy to France and the UK, temperatures are set to break 40C across the continent

Ed Cunningham
Written by
Ed Cunningham

In Europe this week? Well, watch out for a seriously blistering heatwave. The mercury is set to hit well over 40C in several countries across the continent over the next few days.

The hottest temperatures are set to be recorded in Seville in southern Spain, which could reach a whopping 47C at some point this week. And worse yet, that Spanish heat is set to balloon upwards over France, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, potentially seeing plenty of places break the 40C barrier. There’s even a chance the heat could reach the UK – and if it does, it’ll likely break the country’s current temperature record of 38.7C.

If all this sounds ridiculously hot, that’s because it absolutely is. The Guardian reports that projected temperatures in northern and western Europe are about four to five degrees higher than the seasonal norm. A few destinations that will likely see obscenely high temperatures are Paris (36C), Bordeaux (38C) and Madrid (40C).

The heat is set to get worse in southern and eastern Europe, too. Italy and the Balkans are predicted to see 40C temperatures, about 10C above the usual level at this time of year. And that’s on top of Italy’s current heatwave, which has already led to rivers drying up, crop failures and widespread water shortages.

(Oh, and incidentally, virtually every scientist is in agreement that man-made global heating makes heatwaves like this more likely and more frequent. So we’re only likely to see more of this kind of summer weather in future – but drastically curbing carbon emissions should help us avoid the worst-case scenario.)

So if you happen to be in Europe this week and next: you know what to do. Lather up in sun cream, stay in the shade, keep hydrated and – it pains us to say it – try not to pack too much into your schedule.

ICYMI: Covid cases are rising in tourist destinations across Europe.

Plus: could travel restrictions be brought back to curb the latest Covid wave?

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