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Cooling down tips: Record heat in Germany: How to get through the hottest day of the year


Europe is suffering from the heat wave – now the record temperatures are also reaching Germany. With up to 40 degrees, new highs are expected on Tuesday. Health authorities warn of caution and give tips for cooling down.

The rolling heat wave could make for the warmest day of the year in Germany on Tuesday. According to the German Weather Service (DWD), temperatures of 34 to 38 degrees and up to 40 degrees in the southwest and west are possible. The hottest day so far this year was June 19: According to the weather service, the warmest places were Cottbus and Dresden with 39.2 degrees. DWD spokesman Andreas Friedrich said on Monday: “We can assume that this record will be broken on Tuesday.” According to the DWD, the heat record in Germany is 41.2 degrees – measured on July 25, 2019 in Duisburg. “It is possible that we will come to similar areas along the Rhine on Tuesday,” said Friedrich.

The spokesman told the newspapers of the Funke media group: “But it really doesn’t matter whether it’s 38 or 40 degrees on Tuesday – there will be a heat wave, you can say that with certainty.” The heat is a consequence of climate change. “Since the famous “summer of the century” in 2003, we haven’t experienced the 40 degrees every year, but more and more often,” he explained. According to the meteorologists, the heat will shift to the east and northeast on Wednesday.

Heat in Germany: Drink a lot and avoid the sun

The reason for the midsummer weather is a high over Central Europe, which is slowly moving further east and brings increasingly hot air of subtropical origin from the south-west. The German weather service speaks of a “strong heat load”.

These are likely to be felt primarily by weaker people. In view of the heat-related danger for those in need of care, the social association VdK calls for a heat protection plan with comprehensive specifications for nursing homes. “We urgently need a crisis concept for heat events, which are particularly stressful for people in nursing homes and hospitals,” said VdK President Verena Bentele to the editorial network Germany (RND).

The authorities and fire brigade in Hamburg also warn of heat stress. “Drink enough, avoid direct sun and physically strenuous activities, keep your home cool,” recommends the health authority. “Children, the elderly and people with special needs in particular can suffer from too much sun exposure and heat because they cannot accurately assess the risk.”

“Sunburn, headaches and sunstroke from too much direct sunlight are the greatest dangers,” warns Jan-Arne Lauffs, head of the central emergency room at the university emergency center in Rostock in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

Flight disruptions in England – “Code Oranje” in Netherlands

People in other parts of Europe are also suffering from the scorching heat. In the UK, the Met Office said temperatures could rise to as high as 41 degrees in parts of England. The extreme heat caused significant disruption at London’s Luton Airport on Monday. The airport said the surface of the runway had been damaged by the high temperatures. According to reports, several flights had to be canceled or diverted.

Traffic restrictions are also triggered by the weather in France. The Grand Est region in the east of the country imposed restrictions on motorists because of air pollution caused by the sun and heat. The measures that should take effect from 6 a.m. on Tuesday morning include a speed reduction of 20 kilometers per hour on motorways and dual carriageways.

In the Netherlands, the weather service expects maximum temperatures of more than 40 degrees on Tuesday. “Code Oranje” applies: This means that people should avoid physical exertion, drink a lot and if possible not go out in the sun. Europe’s largest hiking event – the “Vierdaagse” from Nijmegen – was actually supposed to start on Tuesday. But the first day of the four-day hiking marathon of more than 50 kilometers a day was canceled due to the high temperatures.

Forest fires in Italy, Spain and Portugal

In Italy, Bolzano, Brescia, Florence and Perugia, among others, are affected by hot temperatures and muggy air. In addition, the fire brigades are still on alert and are fighting forest and bush fires nationwide. Civil protection in Sicily declared the highest risk level for forest fires in some areas on Tuesday.

The fires are also raging in parts of Spain, Portugal and France. According to official estimates, a total of 25,000 hectares of forest and dozens of houses, shops and factories have been destroyed by the fire in Spain in the last ten days. But there is good news here: the heat wave that has been gripping Spain since July 9 will end on Tuesday, the local weather service Aemet assured. It is also likely to cool down in some areas in western France.