The heat wave is expected to peak in the middle part of this week, when a swath from Spain to Poland is expected to see temperatures at least 20 to 30 degrees (11 to 17 degrees Celsius) above normal. Actual temperatures should surge to at least 95 to 105 degrees (35 to 40 degrees Celsius) over a sprawling area, with some spots hotter.
Weather Underground’s Bob Henson notes that this projected heat wave is “unusually strong for so early in the summer.”
Early summer heat waves can be especially lethal, as people have not yet had time to acclimatize to the higher temperatures. Older adults, the homeless and those without air conditioning are most susceptible to heat-related illnesses.
The hottest temperatures are likely to occur across western and central mainland Europe, escalating Tuesday and peaking Wednesday into the end of the workweek.
In Paris, temperatures may approach 100 degrees Wednesday through Friday. The city, along with more than half of France, is under an orange alert, the second-highest level on the country’s heat scale. The scale was instituted after the 2003 summer heat wave, which was blamed for 15,000 deaths.
Farther northeast, Berlin should also flirt with the century mark. Even Copenhagen on the main island of Denmark is set to head into the 80s.
A list of June national records that may be in play includes Austria (101.5), France (106.7), Germany (101.3) and Switzerland (99.1), as well as several others in the region. Some all-time records, mostly set in July or August, may also be threatened.
In the United Kingdom and Ireland, temperatures are not forecast to be as intense as in the south, but some spots should see readings into the 80s, which is considerably above normal for the time of year. Farther east in southern Sweden, as well as neighboring Denmark, some spots could approach 90 degrees.