Heat wave sweeps Northern Hemisphere

Rome tied its hottest temperature on record, while several other Italian cities set monthly records –

  • Rome hit its highest reliable temperature recorded at 105˚F (40.8˚C)
  • Viterbo set an all-time high of 105˚F (40.3˚C)
  • Campobasso set a June record of 99.3˚F (37.4˚C)
  • Ronchi dei Legionari set a June record of 98˚F (36.7˚C)
  • Tuscany set a June record of 107˚F (41.8˚C)
  • Florence set a June record of 106˚F (41˚C)
  • Naples set a June record of 100˚F (37.5˚C)

The heat coincides with the country’s worst drought in 70 years. Drought has hit the northern region of the country, where a dried-up Po River is affecting farming, hydroelectric power and drinking water supplies. Milan recently announced that it would turn off all its fountains, among other water-saving measures, because of the record drought. It is among more than 100 towns and cities there to enact water restrictions.

The Mediterranean and northern Africa are expected to see large increases in the frequency of drought days. By 2065, drought days could make up more than 50% of the dry season in those regions if greenhouse gas emissions are not significantly curbed.

While the heart of the sweltering weather was arguably in and around Italy, temperatures 15 to 35˚F (10 to 20˚C) above normal covered much of Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean and back into North Africa.

On the northern edge of the heat wave, Scandinavia hit record highs. Porvoo Kalbadagrund, about 30 miles (48km) northeast of Helsinki, never fell below 73˚F (22.7˚C), which would be a June record for the country.

Locations on Norway’s Arctic coast of the Barents and Norwegian seas — like Andoya and Berlavag — have broken June and, in some cases, all-time records, with highs in an 85-to-90˚F (29-32˚C) zone.

Other notable heat records are:

  • Norway’s largest port city, Tromso, which sits north of the Arctic Circle, reached at least 85˚F (29.7˚C), a record for June.
  • Mehamm, Norway, located at the top of the Arctic Norway at 71°North, hit 87.4˚F (30.8˚C), shattering its previous June record by almost 10˚F.
  • Saltdal, Norway set a June record on Monday at 89˚F (31.6˚C).
  • Vihti Maasoja, Finland set a June record on Monday at 89˚F (31.4˚C).
  • Podnanos, Slovenia set a June record on Tuesday at 86˚F (30˚C).
  • Knin, Croatia set a June record on Tuesday at 104.7˚F (40.4˚C).

Readings also approached 121˚F (50˚C) in Tunisia, only a short distance from June records.

A wavy jet stream has helped contribute to significant heat waves in several parts of the Northern Hemisphere. In between the dips of the jet stream, relatively stable bubbles of hot air are able to bake the landscape.

Japan remains in the midst of an unprecedented June heat wave.

“A total of 263 June record highs have been set in six days,” meteorologist Sayaka Mori wrote. “Tokyo had highs of over 95˚F (35˚C) for four days in a row, making it the first time on record for June.”

Temperatures in recent days have also risen to record-high levels in parts of Central Asia and into China, as well. Uchadzhi, Turkmenistan observed the hottest June day on record in Central Asia at 118˚F (48.2˚C).

Iran experienced some of its hottest June days on record. Khor, Iran experienced its hottest day on record of any month at 118˚F (47.8˚C). Several major cities, such as Tehran, Esfahan and Mashhad, set new June records.

India and Pakistan also experienced record heat in March and April, which researchers found were 30 times as likely to occur because of climate change.

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