Heat builds up in southern and eastern Europe

Countries around the Mediterranean are set to break heat records again.

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    Another heatwave is building in Europe.

    Ten years ago, temperatures persisting at 10 degrees above average would have been unusual but the current state of the climate is such that this is becoming the new norm.

    The French island of Corsica, hit by forest fires last month, is back in the high 30s Celcius. Ajaccio, the island's capital, started August with a maximum temperature of 38C. The record for August is 39.5C.

    Southern mainland France, also having suffered extensive forest fire, is equally hot.

    In the Rhone valley, Carpentras saw temperatures reach 41C on Monday and Tuesday.

    Further east in Europe, Prague hit 36C on Tuesday - one degree below the record and 12 degrees above average.

    Warsaw, at 34C, was 10C above normal and Munich in southern Germany also recorded 34C.

    Nevertheless, the heat remains centred in Italy and temperature at Rome's Ciampino airport was nearing 40C again, 10C above the August average.

    Italy is in drought and starting to ration water. The situation will only worsen as there is no rain forecast and temperatures are on the rise.

    The rainfall deficit in Italy this year is the equivalent of the volume of Lake Como, or alternatively, according to Phys.org, 20 billion cubic metres.

    While lack of rainfall may be badly affecting Italy, high temperatures have been a lot more widespread.

    All of southern Europe has been hotter than average and plumes of this heat have pushed north three or four times so far this summer.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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