Heat plagues southeastern Europe

Extreme temperatures shift east, bringing a brutal heatwave to the Balkans.

People cool off in a fountain of water during a hot Summer day in Athens
People cool off in a fountain of water during a hot summer day in Athens, Greece [Costas Baltas/Reuters]

Warm weather across parts of Europe is not a new story. What is new are the regions that are experiencing the extreme heat.

In late June, much of Western Europe was dealing with a heatwave that extended well into the UK. For days temperatures easily reached 8-12 degrees above average.

As June ended, the weather pattern in the west broke down, and we are now seeing the strongest area of high pressure moving to the east. What high pressure in the summer tends to do is to keep the atmosphere relatively stable, cloud free and warm. This is now what much of the Balkan Peninsula has been experiencing, as the air mass lingers day after day.

Across Greece, authorities cautioned the public to stay indoors over the last several days. Temperatures registered well into the low-40s on Friday across much of southern Greece. 

But it hasn’t only been Greece in the grips of a heatwave; Turkey, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Albania, and Croatia are just a few of the southeastern European countries that have been experiencing temperatures well over 10 degrees above average. In Turkey, the cities of Antalya and Akhisar recorded highs of 45C on Friday. 

Cities in Romania and Italy on Friday also produced some impressive high temperatures; Bucharest and Bari both reached 38C, while dozens of cities across the region easily recorded temps well into the mid-30s.

Saturday and Sunday are expected to be equally hot, if not hotter, across much of the region, with Athens, Greece, expecting a high temperature of 43C Sunday.

But there is good news in the weather forecast, as a weak area of low pressure is expected to move through the region starting on Monday, bringing a change of wind direction along with some clouds and showers to help cool things off.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies