Please be aware if you are travelling in Europe

Hit by an intense heat wave, which will last until at least the weekend, most of the countries of Europe, from Spain to Sweden and Germany, passing through France, the United Kingdom, Denmark and Switzerland, are recording record temperatures , with thermometers over 40 degrees Celsius at various places.

However in Portugal, temperatures are below average for the season, with some cloud and occasional showers.

One of the factors determining this is that a mass of hot air, coming from the Sahara desert, is being pushed far north by the wind, scorching all those countries unaccustomed to such temperatures.

In Portugal, on the contrary, is under the influence of a depression, which has remained in the northwest of the Iberian Peninsula, bringing with it the cloudiness and precipitation. This depression prevents the mass of hot air from the African desert from reaching here.

The other countries in Europe cannot say the same, starting in Spain, already here, where forecasts point to very high temperatures, above average for the season, in the whole territory, except for Galicia and Asturias. In some Spanish cities, thermometers may reach 44 or 45 degrees Celsius.

In anticipation of high temperatures, alerts have been made in the different countries to European citizens for special care with heat. In France, which still has in memory about 15 thousand dead there recorded during 2003, many schools in the region of Paris cancelled classes and sent the children home. The final examinations, which were scheduled for this week, were also cancelled and postponed for the first week of July.

French and German weather services have warned of the possibility of new temperature records in some of their cities, which can reach 40 degrees Celsius, levels never before registered at this time of year. “It’s an unprecedented situation because it’s happening very early in June,” said Emmanuel Demael of the French meteorological agency, quoted in the European press.

“The situation on the continent is being conditioned by a depression located northwest of the Iberian Peninsula,” said the the meteorologist Ricardo Tavares. “It is this depression that brings, in frontal waves, the rain and cloudiness that have characterized the last days,” stresses the expert.

To compete for this situation, the Azores anticyclone is at this time more weakened and located far to the south, thus allowing the passage of this depression to the Portuguese mainland. “It is not very frequent at this time of year, but sometimes it happens,” notes Ricardo Tavares, noting that early summer in 2018 was also very similar.