No one is exactly surprised when temperatures run high in the summer, but this heat wave in Europe is shattering records. In Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Switzerland, meteorologists anticipate previous June highs to be approached or broken this week. With predictions reaching 113 degrees in southern France, Guillaume Woznica, a French forecaster, said, “The latest forecasts leave little room for doubt: we are heading for a new national record.”
Previously, the highest June temperature ever recorded in France was 106 degrees back in 2003, with the highest temperature ever recorded being 111 — also during the summer of 2003.
By Thursday, weather models are predicting a rise in temperature to over 100 degrees not just in France, but also Spain and much of continental Europe.
Given the dangerous nature of heat waves, authorities are encouraging people to stay indoors and drink plenty of water. “At times like these,” said French President Emmanuel Macron, “sick people, pregnant women, infants and elderly people are the most vulnerable. So we must be vigilant with them and have prevention measures in place in order to intervene as quickly as possible.”
Among these preventative measures are school cancellations. France’s education minister postponed the junior high final exams until early next week, citing safety concerns for students. Around 50 schools in the Essonne region south of Paris are being closed this week. Many, however, believe that these closures are counterproductive, as temperatures aren’t any cooler at home.