Thursday 27 June 2019 9:54 am

Europe heatwave 2019: Temperatures soar above 40C as Sahara bubble engulfs continent

A heatwave currently engulfing Europe has seen temperatures reach record highs.

Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic all experienced their highest-ever temperature recorded for June on Wednesday and there is little sign of the heat abating as the weekend approaches.

Other countries, such as France and Switzerland, are expecting temperatures to surpass 40C (104F) on Thursday, with meteorologists blaming hot air coming from northern Africa for creating what has been dubbed the “Saharan bubble”.

Read more: May retail sales dampened by cold weather

French authorities have issued a risk to life warning following the death of three people on Wednesday.

It is believed they died from “hydrocution”, suffering a cardiac arrest when coming into contact with the cold water due to its significant difference in temperature.

Two men, aged 70 and 75, and a woman, 62, died due to the thermic shock, which causes the blood vessels to contract suddenly.

French officials have advised the public to avoid entering water that is too cold, and to enter water gradually when trying to cool down.

Cities such as Paris and Lyon have put traffic restrictions in place to reduce the added effects of pollution, and some schools have delayed important exams or closed completely.

Met Office has issued a Level 2 heat warning and advised public to drink plenty of water
Met Office has issued a Level 2 heat warning and advised public to drink plenty of water

Temperatures are expected to rise further across western Europe in the coming days, with parts of north-eastern Spain forecasting temperatures to hit 45C on Friday.

As a result, Spanish authorities have warned of a “significant risk” of forest fires in some ares.

So far, the Met Office has issued a Level 2 Heat Health warning for the UK, urging Brits to take extra precautions such as drinking plenty of water and avoiding the sun during the hottest hours of the day.

Read more: Eurostar chair set to take the reins at Go Ahead Group

Temperatures are forecast to comfortably exceed 30C as the north African heat extends its way into the UK, with London set for highs of 32C on Saturday.

“Healthcare services will be working to ensure readiness and swift action to reduce harm from a potential heatwave,” a Met Office advice page read.

“Heatwaves can be dangerous, especially for the very young or very old or those with chronic disease.”