Europe swelters as dangerous heatwave sparks warnings across Italy, Spain and Germany

World News

Extreme temperatures caused Greek officials to close access to its Acropolis monument on Friday, while temperatures continued to soar through Saturday, with officials predicting temperatures throughout Europe that could surpass the continent’s heat record.
Two women use fans to fight the scorching heat during a heatwave in Seville on June 13, 2022. – Spain was today already in the grips of a heatwave expected to reach “extreme” levels, and France is bracing for one, too, as meteorologists blame the unusually high seasonal temperatures on global warming. (Photo by CRISTINA QUICLER / AFP) (Photo by CRISTINA QUICLER/AFP via Getty Images)
Key Takeaways
  • The temperature in Athens, Greece, reached 103 degrees (39C) on Saturday, after temperatures as high as 104 degrees (40C) prompted Greek authorities to close access to the Parthenon temple, according to the Associated Press.
  • The Department of Meteorology in Cyprus—which recorded temperatures as high as 105 degrees (41C)—predicted temperatures as high as 110 degrees (43C) on Saturday.
  • Italy’s Health Ministry issued red alerts for more than a dozen cities—including Rome, Florence and Bologna—with temperatures expected to reach a high of 104 degrees on Saturday and Sunday.
  • The Spanish island of Mallorca predicted temperatures as high as 102 degrees (42C) on Saturday, after the land temperature—how hot the land is to the touch—in Spain reached a record-high of 140 degrees (60C)
  • Germany’s weather service issued heat warnings for nearly half the country on Saturday, including Berlin and Munich.
Surprising Fact

The highest temperature ever recorded in Europe was 119.84 degrees on August 11, 2021, in Italy. The European Space Agency warned earlier this week the “record may be broken again in the coming days.”


Heat records are also expected to be broken in the U.S., as the National Weather Service believes Death Valley’s Furnace Creek could reach 131 degrees—a world record—on Sunday. Temperatures in that area are predicted to reach as high as 124 degrees on Saturday afternoon.

Key Background

High temperatures across Europe this weekend follow the hottest week on record, according to the UN. Forecasters predicted a possible record-breaking heat wave earlier this summer, as El Niño—a climate pattern associated with warmer temperatures—returned for the first time in four years.

Temperatures have already broken records, as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service say June was the hottest June ever. The European Space Agency warned this year could be deadlier than last year, when more than 60,000 people died because of another heat wave.

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