The record temperatures are brought about by desert air from the African continent, which brought excessive heat from Algeria to the Arctic Circle. Several other countries, including Finland and Iran, also experienced new monthly temperature highs.
The heat wave is the latest in a series of extraordinary heat episodes across the region this year and one of many currently plaguing the northern hemisphere – a sign of human-induced climate change. According to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), rising global temperatures have increased the frequency and intensity of extreme heat events in these regions since the 1950s.
A dip in the jet stream – an upper-level air channel – allowed intense heat to develop farther north than usual.
The jet stream separates the warm continental air of southern Europe from the cooler Atlantic air currently moving through the UK.
As a result, temperatures across the UK were close to seasonal normal, but in parts of Italy hit 40C yesterday 🌡️📈 pic.twitter.com/jFyjuwM4Vk
— Met Office (@metoffice) June 28, 2022
A powerful heat dome anchored over Eastern Europe is conspiring with low pressure over Western Europe to draw extreme heat off Africa and into the region. An area of surface high pressure stretching from Italy to northwest Russia and Finland crushes the clouds, allowing the near-solstice sun to beat down in all its fury.
At the limit of the heat, bad weather hit the Netherlands and Germany.
One person died and 10 were injured when a tornado ripped through the coastal town of Zierikzee, southwest of Rotterdam, in the Netherlands. The tornado caused damage comparable to a low-end tornado in the United States. Although the Netherlands experiences an average of several tornadoes a year, this was the first to cause a death since 1992.
South and east of there many reports of hail – some up to 3 inches wide – came from Germany. Additional severe weather was predicted for northern Italy and surrounding regions on Thursday evening as a cold front pushes through the region.
Large recording area
Record temperatures were recorded from Tunisia to northern Norway on Monday and Tuesday. While the heart of the sweltering weather was arguably in and around Italy, temperatures of 15 to 35 degrees above normal covered much of Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean and Africa North.
Exceptional and record heat from North Africa to Norway. Unbearably hot around the central Mediterranean in particular.
Note the temperature difference in Europe with relatively cool air in the west. Intense thunderstorms can be found along the strong thermal boundary. pic.twitter.com/DAHz2tv6VC
—Scott Duncan (@ScottDuncanWX) June 27, 2022
Rome soared to 105 degrees, a record for June and tied for hottest on record. Just outside of town, temperatures as high as 110 degrees were recorded at Tor Vergata.
Other June record highs set Monday in Italy included Tuscany with 107 degrees, Florence at 106 degrees, Viterbo (also an absolute record) with 105 degrees and Naples at 100 degrees.
Drought has hit the northern region of the country, where a dry Po River is affecting agriculture, hydroelectric power and drinking water supplies. Milan recently announced that he would turn off all his fountains, among other water saving measures, because of the record drought. It is one of more than 100 cities and towns that have passed water restrictions.
A narrowing Po River and brown fields are visible in this animation showing the area near the town of Piacenza, #Italy.
All images were taken by the @CopernicusEU #Sentinel2 mission in June 2020, 2021 and 2022.
The effects of the current heat wave and drought are striking 🌡️ pic.twitter.com/miyCIkvpvI
— ESA Earth Observation (@ESA_EO) June 27, 2022
Episodes of drought and extreme heat in the Mediterranean have been stronger in recent decades, which has been attributed to an increase in global temperatures. The surface temperature in the Mediterranean is about 2.7 degrees (1.5 Celsius) above the pre-industrial number, corresponding to an increase during extreme high temperature events.
A study published on Tuesday found that the Mediterranean and North Africa are expected to experience large increases in the frequency of dry days. By 2065, drought days could account for more than 50% of the dry season in these regions if greenhouse gas emissions are not significantly reduced.
Extreme weather plaguing the planet will get worse due to global warming, says UN panel
On the northern edge of the heat wave, Scandinavia hit record highs on Monday. Saltdal, Norway hit 89 degrees, a June record for that city. To the southeast, in Vihti Maasoja, Finland, the temperature hit a record high of 89 degrees in June.
Readings approached 121 degrees in Tunisiaa short distance from June’s records.
June’s unprecedented heat continued Tuesday across eastern Europe, western Russia and parts of Scandinavia. Locations on Norway’s Arctic coast of the Barents and Norwegian Seas – such as Andoya and Berlavag – broke June and, in some cases, all-time records, with highs in the 85-90 degree range.
Norway’s largest port city, Tromso, located north of the Arctic Circle, achieved at least 85 degrees, a record for June.
In Finland, coastal areas recorded unusually warm overnight temperatures, with Tuesday morning lows setting records across a wide swath thanks in part to the very warm waters of the Gulf of Finland as well as large lakes in the surrounding region. Porvoo Kalbadagrund, about 30 miles northeast of Helsinki, never fell below 73 degrees, which would be a June record for the country.
One of many major heat waves around the world
A rippled jet stream contributed to significant heat waves in several parts of the northern hemisphere. Between the troughs of the jet stream, relatively stable hot air bubbles are able to bake the landscape.
Japan remains in the midst of an unprecedented heat wave in June.
“A total of 263 June records were set in six days,” meteorologist wrote Sayaka Mori. “Tokyo had peaks over [95 degrees] for four days in a row, making it the first time recorded in June.
It is possible that even warmer weather is on its way to Japan. There are a bit of potential for the country that will experience its hottest day on record in the coming days.
Japan tops 104 degrees for first time in June amid record heatwave
In recent days, temperatures have reached record highs in parts of Central Asia and in Chinaas well. Iran knows one of its hottest June days on record Tuesday. Another sphere of extreme heat was pacific northwest blasting and adjacent southeastern Canadaas well as parts of Alaska, including its northernmost town of Utqiagvik.
This also follows the historic June heat in Western Europe, particularly in Spain, France and Germany. Record heat has sparked forest fires in Spain. Italy and neighboring countries were also hit by a heat wave in May.
The science of heated domes and how climate change is making them worse
India and Pakistan also experienced record heat in March and April, which the researchers said was 30 times more likely to occur due to climate change.
Studies show climate change is exacerbating the weather patterns responsible for these extreme, long-lasting heat events. Global warming is also making generational-type heat waves more frequent, occurring perhaps as often as every few years in a given location.
Kasha Patel contributed to this report.