Europe heatwave: Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands topple all-time high temperature records

A heatwave gripping Europe has toppled all-time temperature records in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany — and further records could be broken in the UK today.

On Wednesday afternoon, Dutch meteorological service KNMI said it had recorded a temperature of 39.3°C in Eindhoven, breaking a national record set in Warnsveld in August 1944.

This was broken again on Thursday with a reading of 41.7°C in Deelen.

In Belgium, the all-time temperature high was broken on Wednesday in Kleine Brogel with 39.9°C. The former record was set in 1833 with 38.9°C.

Germany’s meteorological service DWD released provisional temperature data on Wednesday, saying a temperature of 40.5°C had been reached in Geilenkirchen.

The data was not recorded within the DWD-monitored network, and is therefore still awaiting confirmation on a final result.

If confirmed, it would topple the nationwide record set in Kitzingen in 2015 with a temperature of 40.3°C.

Temperatures are also expected to reach national all-time highs in the UK on Thursday, surpassing a 38.5°C record set in August 2003.

By 10 a.m. local time on Thursday, temperatures had already hit 30°C at Heathrow airport.

National Rail has issued a warning to passengers and said speed restrictions would be in place throughout the day in order to prevent the tracks from buckling in the heat.

“A heavily reduced service is expected across many parts of the network today, and a number of train operators are advising customers not to travel unless absolutely necessary,” a statement from the rail network said.

Record-breaking temperatures were also reported in Paris with a reading of 40.6°C at Montsouris weather station, breaking a 1947 high of 40.4°C.

The French cities of Lille, Rouen, Dijon and Strasbourg were also expected to break records on Thursday, following Reims, Dijon, Nancy, which broke their all-time highs the day before.

Meteo France, the country’s national weather service, placed 80 departements on alert, with 20 on red — the highest level.

Patrick Galois, a senior weather forecaster at Meteo France, said there have been three times the number heatwaves in the last three decades than in the four decades before that.

He added: “The frequency has clearly increased and it should continue to do so in the decades to come.”

Meanwhile, French health minister Agnès Buzyn cautioned everyone to take care by saying no one person was immune to extreme temperatures.

“There are risks even if you are not particularly vulnerable,” she said.

Last month, the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research said Europe’s five hottest summers since 1500 had all occurred in the 21st century — in 2002, 2003, 2010, 2016 and 2018.

The current heatwave is being caused by an ‘omega block’ — a high-pressure pattern that is blocking and diverting a jet stream of warm air from Northern African and the Iberian Peninsula.

Dr Jean-Noël Thépaut, the director of Copernicus Climate Change Service at the European Weather Centre, told Euronews that while it was “difficult to attribute” the repeated hot weather to a singular event, there were “studies looking at attributions of heatwaves to climate change.”

Referring to another record-breaking heatwave in June, he added: “It was at least five times more likely to have this type of heatwave [in Europe] because of climate change than without it.

Watch our Good Morning Europe report on the latest heatwave in the player above.

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