The European Heatwave subsides

Europe's record breaking heat eases as cooler, wetter weather finally sets in.

    Refugees set out on the long walk to freedom under clear blue skies towards a rain soaked Austria [AFP]
    Refugees set out on the long walk to freedom under clear blue skies towards a rain soaked Austria [AFP]

    August was a disappointingly unsettled month for much of northwest Europe with cloud and rain rolling in from the Atlantic. Elsewhere, there has been some unbearably hot weather across a good part of the Mainland.

    The heat in Ukraine reached record levels, worst still, Kiev received just four per cent of its average August rainfall. This led to a number of wildfires breaking out on the outskirts of the city.

    Temperatures have been running a good 10 degrees or more above average from Germany to western Russia and right across Greece and Turkey. This week we have seen those temperatures drop by as much as 20C in places.

    That heat has certainly been felt by the refugees struggling to leave Hungary this week. On Monday, the Budapest was still sweltering in temperatures up to 34 Celsius. That heat is now breaking.

    You may have noticed in Saturday’s news coverage that as the refugees finally set out on foot towards Austria, they arrived in the rain. That wetter weather marks the boundary between the hot weather and the cooler air finally sinking southeastwards.

    By Friday afternoon, Budapest’s top temperature was 26C. By Monday that temperature is likely to be nearer 18C as the rain sets in.

    That rain has been heavy in places. Two people were killed in France on Monday after violent storms hit the southwest of the country. Trees were uprooted  in Montauban near Toulouse as winds gusted as high as 100km/h.

    The violent weather then moved east. Salzburg in Austria had 50mm of rain on Thursday and Rijeka, Croatia recorded 66mm on Friday.

    The wettest weather is expected to move into Ukraine and western Russia by the end of the weekend which will extinguish the last of any wildfires still burning here. The severe heat will then become confined to an area south of the Black Sea.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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