What a Heat Wave Means for Your European Vacation
Parts of Europe that are not known for extremely high temperatures, even in the summer, have been breaking into a sweat over the last month.
According to Accuweather, the heat wave is caused by a storm system over the Atlantic Ocean, causing high pressure in central and eastern Europe, and winds from Africa.
Germany, France, Spain, and even generally cooler countries like Switzerland have been feeling the heat, amongst some others, The Points Guy reported.
The last week in June brought temperatures nearing 114 degrees Fahrenheit in France. For context, the highest temperature in Arizona during the month of June this year was 111 degrees Fahrenheit. Only 5 percent of homes are air-conditioned in the country.
France 24 reported that over 1,000 drinking fountains were installed in Paris to aid people during the heat wave. Public “cooling stations” were set up throughout the city as well.
Some areas have been so hot that popular tourist attractions had to be closed during the busiest — and usually the hottest — times of the day. That includes the Acropolis in Athens, Greece, according to CNN, where temperatures have hit above 100 degrees Fahrenheit (when they are usually around 90 degrees during this time of year).
While summer in Europe is typically warm, temperatures in recent years have been breaking records. This past June was the hottest June ever recorded globally.
“The global climate just keeps getting hotter, as greenhouse gases continue to build up, as scientists have predicted for decades,” Professor Hannah Cloke of the University of Reading told The Independent.
A massive heat wave also hit Europe, as well as Japan, parts of Africa, and the United States last year. There were wildfires, public transit closures, and several deaths reported.
Some of the best ways to stay cool during a heat wave are to take preventative measures like drinking plenty of water and limiting outdoor activity, recognizing the signs of heat stroke and exhaustion, and keeping an eye on those who are most vulnerable like children, the elderly, pregnant women, and people with medical conditions.