17 June 2022
According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the intense heatwave made its way from North Africa. Although it’s only mid-June, temperatures in some parts of Spain and France, temperatures are - on average - more than 10 degrees Celsius (or 50 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than the average for this time of year.
In France, the heat spike follows the country’s warmest and driest May on record, and the country’s national weather agency said that it is the earliest heatwave since 1947.
In Spain, temperatures topped 40 degrees Celsius - 104 Fahrenheit - in parts of the country’s interior on consecutive days this week, and it’s been hotter still in Toledo province in recent days.
Drought warnings are an added concern in much of western Europe, as no significant rainfall is forecast in Europe in the coming days, apart from isolated thunderstorms.
Large areas from southeastern Central Europe to the northwestern Black Sea are also suffering from drought, WMO said, adding that in the US, much of the west of the country is facing its second or third drought year in a row, with fears of growing water stress heading into the summer season.
The two largest reservoirs in the US, Lake Mead and Lake Powell, in Arizona, are currently at the lowest levels since they were filled: both are at just below 30 per cent of capacity, according to the US Drought Monitor