2022 European heat waves
|Type||Heat wave 18|
|Areas||Europe (Croatia, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain, United Kingdom)|
The 2022 European heat waves were periods of unusually hot weather in parts of Central, Southern and Western Europe during June and July. It has affected Croatia, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Countries such as France, Portugal and Spain have been affected by drought, and high temperatures caused wildfires.
Since 14 July, many wildfires have broken out across the continent.
The heat wave was due to an interaction between the high pressures that generate atmospheric stability and Cyclone Álex, the strong sunshine of the boreal summer, and an air mass coming from North Africa, which entered the Iberian Peninsula loaded with suspended dust (that caused haze in the center and south of the peninsula).
June heat wave
On 16 June, Météo-France activated the red alert in 12 departments and the orange alert in another 25 due to a heat wave. The departments on red alert are mainly those located in the southwest, along the Atlantic coast, and the south, while the severity is generally less the further north and east. This is the earliest heat wave since records began, and the fourth time a red heat alert has been issued since the protocol was activated after the 2003 heat wave.
On 17 June, the red alert was activated in 14 departments, adding the Hautes-Pyrénées and the Pyrenees-Atlantiques to the twelve of the previous day. Likewise, the orange alert was activated in 56 departments.
July heat wave
On 15 July, Met Éireann issued a Status Yellow high temperature warning for Ireland, with "exceptionally" high temperatures possibly up to 32 °C forecast.
On 19 June, temperatures in western Poland exceeded 36 °C. In Słubice, the maximum temperature reached 38.3 °C. This equals the record for the highest June temperature (a record set in 2019). Once again, temperatures peaked towards the end of the month. On 30 June, 9 meteorological stations recorded record-breaking highest monthly temperatures. The setting of new monthly records was also recorded on 1 July. In Tarnów, the temperature reached 37.7 °C, breaking the record for the highest temperature in July. Krosno recorded 35.5 °C which is the highest temperature for that station overall.
On 22 June, a 1-year-old boy mistakenly left in a car died in Szczecin. On 24 June, a man died in the queue of cars to the Polish-Ukrainian border. His death was caused by suspected overheating. On 26 June in Płońsk, a man died from suspected sunstroke.
In July, over 3,000 hectares (7,400 acres) were burnt by wildfires in Leiria, blocking a part of the A1 which runs from Porto to Lisbon. In Algarve, a fire broke out in the city of Faro, which spread to the Quinta do Lago resort. According to the Civil Protection Authority, at least 135 people have been injuried since wildfires began, and about 800 people have been evacuated from their homes.
June heat wave
The special warning due to high temperatures was activated by the AEMET on 10 June, but only for 12 provinces and with yellow alerts in Aragon, Castilla-La Mancha, Catalonia, Extremadura and Madrid, and orange in Andalusia. In this first stage, the unusual heat did not affect the Canary Islands, Galicia, the western Cantabrian coast and points of the peninsular Mediterranean coast. Initially, the AEMET predicted that the heat wave would last until Wednesday, 15 June, without ruling out that it could continue the rest of the week.
On 11 June, high temperatures were already recorded in the southwest of the peninsula, with 41 °C in Seville. The alerts also remained activated for Aragon, Castile and León, Castilla-La Mancha, Catalonia and Madrid at a yellow level, and at an orange level for Extremadura and Andalusia. However, the weather conditions did not meet the official criteria to start the heat wave.
On June 12, thermometers registered 43.2 °C in Almadén (Ciudad Real), the highest value on the official start day of the heat wave. Temperatures above 40 °C were also recorded at 47 stations in the AEMET network. Likewise, the agency issued special notice number 3/2022 with information about the phenomenon, its forecast and notified the beginning of the national plan of preventive actions for the effects of excess temperatures on health with a level assignment map.
On 14 June, the heat wave spread to the south of Galicia and the interior of the Cantabrian Sea. Tropical nights also continued, with thermometers that did not drop below 20 °C in many provinces, highlighting Jaén, where a minimum of 27 °C was expected. On the other hand, it was predicted that the peak of the heat wave would be reached on Friday, 17 June, the date on which some temperature records could be broken in cities such as Zaragoza, Lleida and Córdoba.
The only points in Spain that have not been affected so far from the heat wave are Asturias, the Canary Islands, and the autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla. In its daily statement, AEMET predicted the end of the weather episode for Saturday, due to the dana in the Atlantic, which injects hot African air, approaches the peninsula causing instability and a drop in temperatures.
In Vega de Valcarce, a 69-year-old German died of suspected heat stroke while completing the Villafranca del Bierzo stage of the Camino de Santiago. Rubén del Campo, spokesman for AEMET, stated that it was the "most intense heat wave for mid-June of, at least, the last 20 years".
15 June was the first day of application of the "Iberian exception" by which the regulated price of electricity is calculated with the cap on gas for its generation. The PVPC is the voluntary price for the small consumer, for which more will be paid in the electricity bill for compensation to thermal power plants and the greater use of gas and coal in the midst of a heat wave. When this unusual heat wave subsides, it will be seen if the bills referenced to the PVPC go down, when not all the air conditioners are on at the same time.
18 June was the last day of the extraordinary heat wave that Spain suffered between 11–12 and 18 June, being "intense, extensive and extraordinary", according to the State Meteorological Agency (AEMET), which highlights that, in addition, this episode of heat in the spring has been one of the earliest in the country since records began.
July heat wave
On the 16 June, the Federal Office for Meteorology and Climatology (MeteoSwiss) reported that temperatures of 31-33 °C had been measured in the southern Alps, central Valais and the Lake Geneva region, but had only been exceeded the threshold to be considered a heat wave (average temperature of 25 °C throughout the day) at the local level.
On 17 June, MeteoSwiss activated orange and yellow alerts for heat waves in most of the country. Maximum temperatures of 32-37 °C were expected between 17 June and 21 June in low-lying areas of Valais and Romande Switzerland, and between 18 June and 21 June in the Basel region.
June heat wave
On 14 June, in view of the Met Office's forecast of high temperatures, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) issued level 2 health alerts in several regions for the period between midnight on Thursday 16 and midnight on Saturday 18. The affected regions were London, the East Midlands, the East, South East and South West England.
On 15 June, the UKHSA issued Level 3 alerts for London, East and South East England, maintaining Level 2 alerts for the East Midlands and South West England. According to Met Office forecasts, the heat peak would arrive on Friday, reaching the necessary threshold for heat wave consideration, before temperatures dropped significantly on Saturday 18.
On 17 June, London reached 32.7 °C (90.9 °F) on the hottest day of the year so far.
July heat wave
On 11 July, three wildfires began at Salisbury Plain after military exercises, which firefighters were unable to approach due to risks of unexploded bombs. The fire service said they plan to let it burn out. By the side of the A61 road near Ripon, a blaze began in a crop field, when six fire engines were sent to the scene. Another wildfire broke out at a solar farm near Verwood, Dorset, which damaged some solar panels.
On 12 July, the Met Office issued an amber extreme heat warning for 17 July, which was extended from 17 to 19 July. It was stated that the high temperatures could extend into the following week, where an extension of the warning would be considered. A grass fire began on the Pembrokeshire coast between Tenby and Saundersfoot, which burned about 10 hectares (25 acres) of land.
On 13 July, two wildfires broke out in Surrey, one near Frensham Common and a larger one of about 10 hectares (25 acres) near Hankley Common. A grass fire began in Harlington, London, which damaged about 14 hectares (35 acres) of shrubland. The water levels at the Thruscross Reservoir fell low enough to reveal the ruins of West End, a village which was flooded when the reservoir was built in 1966.
On 15 July, the Met Office issued its first ever red extreme heat warning after there were forecasts of over 40 °C (104 °F) in some parts of England, and a national emergency was declared. The warning is in place for 18 to 19 July, with most of England being affected. The amber extreme heat warning was extended to cover Cornwall, west Wales and parts of southern Scotland. Met Office Chief Meteorologist Paul Gundersen stated that there was a 50% chance there will be temperatures over 40 °C and an 80% chance of a new record temperature. A number of schools announced they would either close or allow pupils to wear PE kit in place of their school uniform on the hottest days.
- 2003 European heat wave
- 2006 European heat wave
- 2018 European heat wave
- 2019 Siberia wildfires
- 2019 European heat waves
- List of weather records
- Heat waves of 2022
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