Reddit | FinnishEvilBot

Meteorologist Tweets 'Hell Is Coming' As Europe Experiences Record Heat Wave

As with many recent years, we've spent much of 2019 reeling from some pretty extreme and unpredictable weather.

Many throughout the United States faced the coldest winters they've ever experienced, which then gave way to a spring that we definitely had to play by ear.

But although summer hasn't been too out of the ordinary over here, the same cannot be said for other parts of the world.

This is especially true for Western Europe, where temperatures are as extremely hot as they were extremely cold for us months ago.

At the moment, most Western European countries are in the midst of their most intense heat waves yet.

Reddit | KazukiFuse

As Business Insider reported, it reached 113.18 degrees Fahrenheit in Villevielle, France on Friday. This is the hottest weather ever recorded in the country, and much of the south of France isn't far behind.

Spain faces similar issues, as several northern cities are expecting to reach temperatures as high as 107.6 degrees today.

Although these are the most extreme and serious cases, reports of higher than normal temperatures are sweeping the continent.

Reddit | FinnishEvilBot

Considering that these areas are used to moderate weather throughout the year, the fact that temperatures are climbing to the high 90s in Italy, Portugal, Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Switzerland have placed authorities on alert.

While these weather conditions may not cause much concern in Texas, authorities have an unfortunately real reason to be vigilant.

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According to France24, a similarly intense heat wave struck France in 2003, which led to 15,000 heat-related deaths in July and August alone.

Sadly, this new heat wave hasn't come without fatalities either.

Reddit | mopuik

As Business Insider reported, three people in France have died of shock after plunging into cold water to counteract the intense heat, while two people in Italy have died from heatstroke.

Spain is also seeing some destructive effects of the heat wave, as the worst wildfires they've seen in 20 years rage in the northeast.

Reddit | joejo1991

As The Guardian reported, over 500 firefighters fought an uphill battle against a fire that burned across 12,355 acres in the Spanish province of Tarragona yesterday.

So far, the blaze has forced 53 people to evacuate their homes and claimed the lives of hundreds of sheep.

With this in mind, it doesn't come as much of a surprise that Spanish meteorologist Silvia Laplana tweeted out "Hell is coming" on Monday.

At least, that's how the term "El infierno" translates into English.

So why is this heat wave happening?

Reddit | zgphotography

As Business Insider reported, the most immediate cause boils down to a combination of a major storm over the Atlantic Ocean and high pressure around Central Europe thanks to hot air currents moving in from the Sahara desert.

However, the heat wave fits into a larger pattern of extreme weather that can be attributed to climate change.

Reddit | LeBokLe

As Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research said, "This increase in heat extremes is just as predicted by climate science as a consequence of global warming caused by the increasing greenhouse gases from burning coal, oil and gas."

As a result, heat waves like these become five times as likely to occur.

There's a possibility that Spain might see a break in its extreme weather by Saturday, but it's largely unclear when Europe's temperatures will come back down.

h/t: Business Insider