July 24, 2019

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Climate crisis blamed as temperature records broken in three nations

Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands have recorded their highest ever temperatures as the second extreme heatwave in as many months to be linked by scientists to the climate emergency grips the continent.

The Dutch meteorological service, KNMI, said the temperature reached 39.2C(102.5F) at the Gilze-Rijen airbase near Breda on Wednesday afternoon, exceeding the previous high of 38.6C set in August 1944.

In Belgium, the temperature in Kleine-Brogel hit 38.9C on Wednesday afternoon, fractionally higher than the previous record of 38.8C set in June 1947, and then subsequently rose to 39.9C. Forecasters said temperatures could climb further on Thursday.

Germany’s national weather service, DWD, said it believed a new all-time national high of 40.5C – 0.2C higher than the record – had been set in the town of Geilenkirchen near the Dutch and Belgian borders, but had still to confirm it.

“The most extreme heat will build from central and northern France into Belgium, the Netherlands and far western Germany into Thursday,” said Eric Leister of the forecasting group AccuWeather.

The latest heatwave, caused by an “omega block” – a high-pressure pattern that blocks and diverts the jet stream, allowing a mass of hot air to flow up from northern Africa and the Iberian peninsula – follows a similar extreme weather event last month that made it the hottest June on record.


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