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The heat builds across Europe
Temperature warnings have been announced across much of Western Europe, as residents flock to the shores for reprieve.
Last Modified: 25 Aug 2011 13:28
Temperatures across much of Europe have soared, with many places reporting temperatures over 35C [EPA]

As the southern hemisphere shivers through snow storms, things are very different in the north.

Parts of the US are still suffering from the most severe hot, dry period in decades and now Europe has started to bake as well.

By Thursday, high temperature warnings were in effect for parts of France, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia.

Temperatures are well above average and are expected to stay that way over the next couple of days. This is a problem for Europe where many people don’t have air conditioning, and it is also proving to be a problem for those attending the many open-air events, which take place in the summer.

The Swiss music festival, the Open Air Gampel, took place in the searing heat between August 18 and 21. As temperatures soared to a sticky 35C, around 1,400 people had to be treated for heat-related illnesses, eleven of whom had to be hospitalized.

As expected, many people have headed to the beaches or to the local lakes to cool down. However, the number of inflatable boats arriving at Switzerland's Aare River, between Kiesen and Bern, is thought to be a record, at 598.

Trying to stay cool at night is the real problem, with people in Italy claiming they were clutching a bottle of frozen water at night.

An area of high pressure over the region has kept the weather sunny and dry over the last few days and light winds have allowed the heat to build, day after day.

The hot weather will be chased out of Western Europe over the next few days as a huge area of low pressure moves in. The weather will become wet, windy and a lot cooler, which might be something of a welcome relief.

However, for much of southeastern Europe, the hot weather is set to continue into next week.

Source:
Al Jazeera
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