Another dangerously hot summer seems likely in Europe
Europeans hoping for a cooler summer in 2019 won't have much hope.
This June, Russia has been experiencing well above normal temperatures. Moscow hit 32°C last week with thousands of residents evacuated from their homes, many of which lack air condition systems. The heat has been on during the final stretch of spring across many other areas of northern Europe, where daytime temperature records have been the norm. Now residents are especially concerned that this summer will be another scorcher in many areas of the continent.
Summer 2018 was one of intense heat across large swaths of northwest Europe, including the British Isles, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, and north into Scandinavia. High temperatures and devastating wildfires lasted for weeks and made life impossible for many residents and travellers not used to the intense heat.
This Summer 2019 forecasts are calling for a possible repeat of last summer's heat in some countries. Forecasts from the S4 system based on the ECMWF model (European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts) show temperatures above normal for each of the summer months across much of Europe. Although these forecasts do not show specific heat waves and their duration, it is likely they will occur at some point during June, July, August or September, especially in those regions where large anomalies are expected.
The atmospheric dynamics driving these anomalous temperature patterns have yet to be seen, but it is likely Europe could experience, at times, a repeat of summer 2018. Last year, especially during the month of July, a persistent high-pressure ridge over the northeast Atlantic blocked incoming cooler air masses and favoured the presence of stagnant warmer air across the northwest countries.
Although part of June has already gone by, a 1-3°C positive temperature anomaly could be the norm in many areas of the continent. The warmest anomalies are expected in southern Scandinavia and across a large swath that extends from west-central Europe to central Russia, Ukraine, the Iberian Peninsula and other areas of southeast Europe. Some of the anomalies have already occurred, but the last stretch of the month could still bring exceptional heat to certain regions.
The month of July shows a similar pattern to that of June, with positive temperature anomalies dominating much of the continent. The more relevant values of 1-2°C above average are again seen in interior portions of the Iberian Peninsula, affecting countries Spain and Portugal. It will be similar across much of France, and large swath east-central Europe. Few areas are expecting cooler than average temperature anomalies.
Much of Europe will continue to experience above normal heat during August. Perhaps the anomalies are not as intense as in June and July, but a similar pattern of temperature distribution is seen. The heat will still be dominant across the interior Iberian Peninsula, France and a large slice of the east-central part of the continent.
The end of the summer is also predicted to be on the warm side. Similar patterns persist over land and added warmth is expected over portions of the North Atlantic northeast of Iceland. Countries in the east-central part of the continent will again be dominated by a 1-2oC temperature anomaly in September.