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Britain Set For Record Temperatures As Heatwave Builds Over Europe

Forecasters expect Britain to cool down by the weekend but predict that temperatures will remain above average for the rest of the month.
by Staff Writers
London (AFP) Jul 17, 2006
Britain could soon swelter in the highest temperatures ever recorded, weather forecasters said Monday, with a 30 percent chance that Wednesday will become the country's hottest day ever. While in in Paris temperatures will soar to 36 degrees Celsius (97 degrees Fahrenheit) by midweek as the heatwave spreads to the north.

Temperatures of 37 degrees Celsius are expected in southeast England and forecasters at Britain's Meteorological Office say one or two areas could experience 39 C (102.2 degrees Fahrenheit).

That would beat the previous high of 38.5 C, recorded at Faversham in Kent, southeast England, on August 10, 2003, and make parts of the Britain hotter than Spain or Greece.

A Met Office spokesman said the present heatwave was due to a period of very settled weather.

"Over coming days, even hotter air will move across from continental Europe causing the temperature to rise even further," he added.

"Our research shows that there is a significant human contribution to these heatwaves because of carbon dioxide emissions over recent decades.

"This is a sign of things to come, with the current temperatures becoming a normal event by the middle of this century."

Forecasters expect Britain to cool down by the weekend but predict that temperatures will remain above average for the rest of the month.

Bookmaker William Hill said it would have to pay out 100,000 pounds (145,000 euros, 182,000 dollars) to punters who have bet on the temperature if the thermometer hits 38 C.

The average maximum temperature for July is 23 C.

Paris Temps To Exceed 36 Degrees

Temperatures in Paris will soar to 36 degrees Celsius (97 degrees Fahrenheit) by midweek as a heatwave spreads to the north, forecasters said Monday, warning people to stay in the shade and drink plenty of water.

Twenty departments (counties) in southwest France are already under a heatwave alert, after temperatures climbed to 37 degrees Celsius at the weekend.

Parts of the country could even reach 40 degrees -- with night-time temperatures everywhere in the low 20s -- before the arrival of storms on Thursday and Friday, forecasters said.

The conditions have awoken comparisons with 2003, when 15,000 mainly elderly people died of heat-stroke and dehydration, and the government was accused of failing to react quickly enough.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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French Heatwave Prompts Alert To Stop 2003 Crisis Recurring
Paris (AFP) Jul 17, 2006
Wide areas of France, sweltering in a heatwave, went on high alert Sunday, with memories still strong of a 2003 catastrophe when thousands died, sparking criticism of perceived deficiencies in the way the authorities dealt with the crisis.

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