For a good week now, Southeast Europe has been experiencing a severe heat wave with dire consequences. Many temperature records have ever been broken in Turkey. In Langadas near Thessaloniki in northern Greece, the previous heat peak was measured on Tuesday at 47.1 degrees. For comparison: the European temperature record of 48.0 degrees, which was measured on August 10, 1977 in Athens, is only missing tenths of a degree.
Heavy smoke in the thermal capital
And there, in the hot capital of Europe, you are currently holding your breath. A large fire broke out in the northern suburbs as intense smoke developed, severely restricting visibility in the Greek capital. Residents are encouraged to stay home and close doors and windows.
Firefighting teams are battling hundreds of fires in other parts of Greece, Turkey, Italy and the Balkans as well.
dead in Turkey
According to the Turkish Communications Directorate, 156 fires broke out in the country during the past week alone. Eight people have already died. Fires are raging mainly on the Mediterranean coast. The regions of Antalya, Mugla and Adana are particularly affected. Many areas were evacuated, many villages and districts were destroyed by fire, and many animals were not rescued.
Meanwhile, a fire in the northern suburbs of the capital, Athens, spiraled out of control in Greece on Tuesday. Four large cities were evacuated. Thousands of people had to seek refuge in other parts of the Greek capital. The state provided these people with hotel rooms for the coming nights.
Heat wave in southern Europe and storms in the Alps
A stable high pressure region over the eastern Mediterranean is responsible for this scorching heat, which on the one hand frequently brings extremely hot air from North Africa into this region, but on the other hand also generates a certain amount of self-preservation through heating continuous area.
This, in turn, stresses the boundary of the air mass, which develops repeatedly in the Alpine region, at the boundary to the cooler air over Central Europe. In addition, a lot of water evaporates over the Mediterranean, which increases the potential for large amounts of rain. This also increases the risk of flooding and landslides, especially in the Southern Alps.
Not quite clear though the temperature is low
The slightly higher heat will now be pushed into North Africa this weekend. As a result, temperatures in the respective regions drop to 40 to 35 degrees. But this is not a reason to give all the clarity.
On the contrary, because precipitation is expected only on the Adriatic. Even this can be described at best as a drop in the ocean. This means that the risk of forest fires is still high and more fires cannot be ruled out.
High temperature shifts to Spain and Portugal
Next week, the intense heat may shift towards the western Mediterranean. Then in the Spanish and Portuguese interiors there are wide range elevations ranging from 40 to 45 degrees.
Not the first time this year. Several bushfires broke out a few weeks ago after a similar heat wave. More fires are feared as the drought continues and temperatures rise.