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Dangerous heat wave to grip Europe from Spain to Germany to Italy this week

By Eric Leister, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
July 22, 2019, 2:22:07 PM EDT

Less than one month after a historic heat wave gripped more than half of Europe, another far-reaching heat wave will affect many of the same locations this week.

In the final week of June, France set its all-time high temperature and all-time June high temperatures were set in Germany, Austria, Hungary, Poland, Lithuania, Czech Republic and Slovakia.

This upcoming heat wave will be very similar to the one that shattered records in late June as a storm system stalls over the northeastern Atlantic, pulling hot air from northern Africa and Spain north and eastward across Europe.

Europe 7/22

The slow movement of this storm system will result in a prolonged heat wave with some locations enduring the dangerous heat for up to five days.

The core of the heat will be centered from Spain into France, Belgium, Netherlands, western Germany, Switzerland and northern Italy.

The heat began to build on Monday as temperatures reached or approached 38 C (100 F) across parts of eastern Portugal, the interior of Spain and southern France. This heat will intensify and expand northeastward in the coming days.

High temperatures near or above 38 C (100 F) are expected in Madrid, Lyon and Paris. Maximum AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures of 40-43 C (104-110 F) are possible on the hottest days.

Europe Heat AP 7/19

A girl drinks cool water in the Trocadero gardens near the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Friday, June 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Lewis Joly)

Warm nights with temperatures failing to fall below 21 C (70 F) will make sleeping difficult for anyone without air conditioning and also raise the risk for heat-related illnesses in the youth and elderly as buildings are unable to cool before intense sunshine causes temperatures to rise the following day.

HeatWave Europe 7/22

Elsewhere, several days of temperatures in excess of 32 C (90 F) are forecast for London, Brussels, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Berlin, Munich and Milan.

Europe Weather Center
Interactive Europe weather radar
What's the difference between heat exhaustion and heat stroke?

Residents should be sure to drink plenty of water, wear light clothing and avoid strenuous activities during the hottest times of the day. Residents should ensure that the elderly, children and pets have sufficient ways to stay cool. Finding shade is also important in order to get out of the direct rays of the sun.

Remember that locked vehicles without air conditioning can quickly become death traps for children and pets.

Relief from the heat will first come to areas from the United Kingdom to northern Spain and France on Friday before expanding into central Europe this weekend.

Showers and thunderstorms will accompany the arrival of the cooler air bringing the risk for localized flash flooding, damaging winds and hail.

The intense heat will also elevate the risk for wildfires across the region. Several large wildfires broke out across central Portugal this weekend.

AP Portugal 7/22

Firefighters try to extinguish a wildfire near Colos village, in central Portugal on Monday, July 22, 2019. More than 1,000 firefighters battled Monday in torrid weather against a major wildfire in Portugal, where every summer forest blazes wreak destruction. (AP Photo/Sergio Azenha)

The Associated Press reported that around 1,800 firefighters were battling the fires at one point on Sunday. The fires have been blamed for at least 30 injures and have resulted in evacuations, according to Reuters.

Temperatures in excess of 38 C (100 F) and locally gusty winds made fighting the fires difficult on Sunday and Monday. Daily heat and gusty winds will continue across the region into Wednesday.

Download the free AccuWeather app for more details on temperature trends in your community. Keep checking back for updates on and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.

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