June 2019 European heat wave

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June 2019 European heat wave
The heat is on ESA19461898.jpeg
Temperature of the land on 26 June
Date24 June 2019 (2019-06-24) – 2 July 2019
TypeHeat wave

The June 2019 European heat wave was a period of unusually hot weather affecting southwestern to central Europe, starting in late June and resulting in the hottest June ever recorded in Europe.[1] It was caused by high pressure and winds from the Sahara Desert affecting large parts of the continent, according to meteorologists.[2] It resulted in record-breaking temperatures for the month of June at many locations.[3][4] France experienced temperatures in excess of 45 °C (113 °F) for the first time in recorded history. A national all-time record high temperature of 46.0 °C (114.8 °F) occurred on 28 June in Vérargues.[5]


The heat was directly implicated in the deaths of at least 15 people. Five died in France, four in Germany, three in the United Kingdom, two in Spain, and one in Italy. Nine of these were drownings, attributed to people cooling down, and another involved an exhausted farm worker who went unconscious after diving into a pool. The three who died in hot air were aged 72, 80 and 93. Approximately 321 million people were otherwise affected by similar temperatures in the same countries.

The Dutch government reported 400 excess deaths in the week of the heat wave, a figure comparable to those recorded during the 2006 European heat wave.[6]

By country[edit]


Belgium recorded three consecutive days exceeding 30 °C (86 °F);[7][8][9] 25 June was the hottest day during this period, with many places exceeding 32 °C (90 °F) and other places nearly reaching 35 °C (95 °F).

During the period of hot weather, environmental officials warned of poor air quality levels, which would especially affect the young, elderly and people with respiratory illnesses. It also affects small countries that rely on tourism as their main source of income.[10]

Czech Republic[edit]

The temperature record for June was recorded in Doksany and was 38.9 °C (102.0 °F).[11] High temperatures also complicated rail transport in the Czech Republic.[11]


Map of France Legend
  No particular vigilance
  Vigilance required
  Absolute vigilance

France was one of the most affected countries from the heatwave, with much of the country exceeding 32 °C (90 °F) on 26 June.[12] Météo France issued an Orange Alert for much of the country due to exceptionally hot temperatures, excluding coastal regions, e.g. Brittany and the northern part of Hauts-de-France. Four departments of France were put on Red Alert: Bouches-du-Rhône, Gard, Hérault and Vaucluse.[13] Owing to building codes with old structures common across the country, numerous buildings in France lack air conditioning.[14] The French Government acted more proactively for the heat wave in light of its failings during the 2003 European heat wave; 15,000 people died during that event in the country.[15] Approximately 4,000 schools closed nationwide.[16] Authorities in Paris opened public cooling rooms. Parks and pools extended operation hours in multiple cities.[15] Museums with air conditioning allowed free entry for all people.[14]

France observed temperatures in excess of 45 °C (113 °F) for the first time in recorded history. A national all-time record of 46.0 °C (114.8 °F) was recorded by a manned weather station in Vérargues on 28 June, verified by Météo France on 19 July.[5] Earlier, the highest temperature considered to have been reliably recorded during the heat wave was 45.9 °C (114.6 °F) by an automatic weather station in Gallargues-le-Montueux, also on 28 June.[17] These exceeded the previous record of 44.1 °C (111.4 °F), recorded in Conqueyrac and Saint-Christol-lès-Alès.[13] Twelve other locations observed temperatures above the previous record high.[18] Villevieille also experienced temperatures of 45.1 °C (113.2 °F) on this day.[17] Numerous records were broken along the Mediterranean coastline. Montpellier observed a temperature of 43.5 °C (110.3 °F), shattering the previous all-time by 5.8 °C (10.4 °F).[15] Nantes and Bourges saw their highest low-temperature ever during the overnight of 27–28 June at 24.7 °C (76.5 °F) and 23.8 °C (74.8 °F), respectively.[18]

Five people died nationwide: four from drowning and one from heat stroke.[16][19] Police noted an increase in instances of illegal fire hydrant openings. A six-year-old child was hospitalised in critical condition after being hit by a stream of water from an illegally opened hydrant.[16] Hospitals reported a significant increase in cases of cramps, dehydration, dizziness, and heart conditions.[14]

In September of the same year, the French Ministry of Health announced that 567 were reported to have died during the heat wave.[20]


Most of Germany recorded temperatures exceeding 32 °C (90 °F) on 26 June as well as large parts of the country exceeding 35 °C (95 °F). Temperatures as high as 37.5 °C (99.5 °F) were recorded in Berlin-Tempelhof, and Brandenburg had temperatures reaching 38.6 °C (101.5 °F), exceeding the previous June record of 38.2 °C (100.8 °F) recorded in Frankfurt.[21][22][23] Nationwide, the average temperature for all of June reached 19.8 °C (67.6 °F), marking the warmest June in 140 years of record-keeping.[19]

Four people died from drowning nationwide.[14]


By 28 June, Italian authorities placed 16 cities under high alert for dangerous temperatures. Civil security services distributed water to tourists visiting Rome.[16]

A 72-year-old man died of heat stroke in the Milano Centrale railway station.[14]


On 25 June, much of the inland areas of the Netherlands exceeded 32 °C (90 °F). The KNMI issued a code yellow warning for large parts of the country due to the heat, and RIVM also put National Heat Plans into force in areas issued under code yellow.[24]

De Bilt, where the headquarters of the KNMI is located, recorded a temperature of 33.2 °C (91.8 °F),[25] and parts of Uden and Gelderland recorded temperatures as high as 36 °C (97 °F).[26][27]


Poland recorded high temperatures early in June, with much of the country exceeding 30 °C (86 °F) on 12 June.[28] Like much of Western and Central Europe, most of Poland recorded temperatures as high as 33 °C (91 °F) on 26 June.[29] Poland has also exceeded its previous June record, recording 38.2 °C (100.8 °F) in Radzyń.[30]


Large parts of Spain recorded temperatures exceeding recorded 35 °C (95 °F) on 27 June, and recorded its hottest temperatures in the north east of the country,[31] with temperatures reaching as high as 39.6 °C (103.3 °F) in Bilbao[32] and exceeding 40 °C (104 °F) in Zaragoza on 27 June.[33][34] Albuquerque, Badajoz recorded 44.4 °C (111.9 °F) on June 29.[35]

Zaragoza Airport registered 43.2 °C (109.8 °F) in June 2019,[36] Zaragoza was forecasted to reach temperatures as high as 44 °C (111 °F), exceeding the June temperature record for the city.[37]

At least two heat stroke deaths occurred in the country: a 93-year-old man in Valladolid and a 17-year-old boy in Córdoba.[16][38]

A wildfire broke out in La Torre de l'Espanyol within the Province of Tarragona in Catalonia on 26 June.[39] According to local authorities, the fire ignited from decomposing chicken feces exposed to prolonged sunlight.[19] Strong winds caused the fire to expand,[39] with the blaze covering 6,500 hectares (16,000 acres) by 28 June.[19] It was said to be the worst wildfire in Catalonia in 20 years.[40] By 28 June more than 600 firefighters and six aircraft were deployed to combat the blaze.[16] Dozens of people were displaced, including at least 30 in Flix. Near the village, more than 200 sheep, 2 horses, and a donkey died in the fire.[39]


Sweden was only affected in the southern portion of the country. On 30 June Oskarshamn measured 33.7 °C (92.7 °F) the highest June temperature since 1970.[41]


In Switzerland, heat records were broken for the month of June at nearly 30 locations across the country. Temperatures reached as high as 35.5 °C (95.9 °F) in Zürich and 35.3 °C (95.5 °F) in Basel on 26 June.[42]

Areas with high altitudes also exceeded 30 °C (86 °F), with temperatures reaching as high as 30.3 °C (86.5 °F) in Col Des Mosses and Adelboden.[43][44]

MeteoSwiss issued a Level 3 hazard due to high temperatures for much of the country, with large parts of Valais and Ticino under a Level 4 hazard, meaning high danger due to the exceptional heat.[45]

United Kingdom[edit]

On 29 June large parts of England, including the South and the Midlands, faced temperatures exceeding 30 °C (86 °F) with the highest temperature of 34.0 °C (93.2 °F) recorded at Heathrow Airport[46] and RAF Northolt.[47] However, the heatwave was rather short lived in the United Kingdom, with temperatures dropping to near normal the next day.[48]

One child drowned in the River Irwell in Greater Manchester after diving in to cool off during high temperatures.[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Record-breaking temperatures for June". Copernicus Climate Change Service. Retrieved 3 July 2019.
  2. ^ "In pictures: Europe's June 2019 heatwave". Ogimet.com. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  3. ^ Masters, Jeff. "Dangerous June Heat Wave Envelops Western Europe". Weather Underground.
  4. ^ "European countries set new June heat records". BBC News. 27 June 2019 – via www.bbc.com.
  5. ^ a b "C'est officiel : on a atteint les 46 °C en France en juin" (in French). Météo France. Retrieved 19 July 2019.
  6. ^ "Heatwave caused nearly 400 more deaths in Netherlands: stats agency". reuters.com. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  7. ^ "Synop Summary for Belgium 24/6/2019". Ogimet.com. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  8. ^ "Synop Summary for Belgium 25/6/2019". Ogimet.com. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  9. ^ "Synop Summary for Belgium 26/6/2019". Ogimet.com. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  10. ^ "Heatwave puts Belgian air quality levels under strain". The Brussels Times. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  11. ^ a b "V Česku padaly teplotní rekordy, kvůli vedru se ohnuly i kolejnice!". tn.nova.cz (in Czech). 26 June 2019. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
  12. ^ "Synop Summary for France 26/6/2019". Ogimet.com. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  13. ^ a b "France records all-time highest temperature of 45.9C". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  14. ^ a b c d e María Laura Avignolo (28 June 2019). "La ola de calor ya deja muertos en Europa". Clarín (in Spanish). Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  15. ^ a b c Sasha Ingber (28 June 2019). "France Suffers Through Hottest Day In Its History — 113 Fahrenheit". NPR. Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  16. ^ a b c d e f g "France fries as thermometers hit record-high temperatures". France24. 28 June 2019. Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  17. ^ a b World Meteorological Organization [@WMO] (28 June 2019). "For the first time on record, #France sees a temperature above 45°C. Gallargues-le-Montueux recorded 45,9 °C, and Villevieille 45.1°C this afternoon. In France. in June" (Tweet). Retrieved 28 June 2019 – via Twitter.
  18. ^ a b "45,9°C devient le nouveau record de chaleur jamais enregistré en France" (in French). Europe1. 28 June 2019. Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  19. ^ a b c d "Fast 46 Grad in Frankreich Fünf Tote durch die Hitzewelle in Europa" (in German). Kleinezeitung. 28 June 2019. Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  20. ^ "Summer heat killed nearly 1,500 in France, officials say". BBC News. 8 September 2019. Retrieved 8 September 2019.
  21. ^ "Synop Summary for Berlin-Tempelhof (10384) 26/6/2019". Ogimet.com. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  22. ^ "Heatwave in Germany: Temperatures of 40C forecast". thelocal.de. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  23. ^ "Extreme Europe heat wave to persist in Spain, France after many countries set all-time highs for June". AccuWeather. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  24. ^ "Hot weather triggers code yellow and National Heat Plan in the Netherlands". iamexpat.nl. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  25. ^ "Synop Summary for De Bilt (06260) 26/6/2019". Ogimet.com. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  26. ^ [V "Synop Summary for Hupsel Aws (06283) 26/6/2019"] Check |url= value (help). Ogimet.com. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  27. ^ "Synop Summary for Volkel (06375) 26/6/2019". Ogimet.com. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  28. ^ "Synop Summary for Poland 12/6/2019". Ogimet.com. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  29. ^ "Synop Summary for Poland 26/6/2019". Ogimet.com. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  30. ^ "European heat wave: France, Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic set June records, and the worst is still to come". The Washington Post. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  31. ^ "Synop Summary for Spain 27/6/2019". Ogimet.com. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  32. ^ "Synop Summary for Bilbao Sondica (08025) 26/6/2019". Ogimet.com. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  33. ^ "Synop Summary for Zaragoza Aeropuerto (08160) 26/6/2019". Ogimet.com. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  34. ^ "Synop Summary for Zaragoza Aeropuerto (08159) 26/6/2019". Ogimet.com. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  35. ^ "Alburquerque se sitúa como la localidad más calurosa de España con 44,4 grados". La Crónica de Badajoz (in Spanish). 29 June 2019. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
  36. ^ "La ola de calor funde con 43,2 grados el récord de junio en Zaragoza, que se remontaba a 1965". Heraldo (in Spanish). 29 June 2019. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
  37. ^ "Weather forecast by locations. Zaragoza (Zaragoza)". Agencia Estatal de Meteorología. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  38. ^ "Muere un joven de 17 años tras un golpe de calor en Córdoba". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). 28 June 2019. Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  39. ^ a b c "Fünf Tote bei Hitzewelle in Europa - Schlimmster Waldbrand seit 20 Jahren in Katalonien". Neue Zürcher Zeitung (in German). 28 June 2019. Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  40. ^ "Worst wildfire in 20 years rages in Catalonia as heatwave grips Europe)". The Telegraph. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  41. ^ "Ovanligt varmt slut på juni följs av mycket kylig start på juli" (in Swedish). SMHI.
  42. ^ "Heat records broken at nearly 30 locations in Switzerland". lenews.ch. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  43. ^ "Synop Summary for Col Des Mosses (06713) 26/6/2019". Ogimet.com. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  44. ^ "Synop Summary for Adelboden (06735) 26/6/2019". Ogimet.com. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  45. ^ "Hazards". MeteoSwiss. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  46. ^ "Synop Reports Summary Heathrow 29/06/2019". Met Office. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  47. ^ "Synop Reports Summary Northolt 29/06/2019". Met Office. Retrieved 1 July 2019.
  48. ^ "Climatology in London for June 2019". InfoClimat (in French). Retrieved 5 August 2020.