Germany records its hottest June temperature

Germany recorded its hottest ever June temperature on Wednesday, breaking a record that lasted over 70 years.

Germany records its hottest June temperature
Swimmers jump into the Heidebad in Halle, Saxony-Anhalt on Wednesday. Photo: DPA

Germany broke a new heat record for June on Wednesday afternoon, with temperatures reaching 38.6 degrees at a weather station in Coschen in Brandenburg.

The previous highest temperature for this month was 38.5 degrees in 1947, measured at a weather station in Bühlertal in Baden-Württemberg. 

Germany’s all-time heat record, however, remains unbroken. This was 40.3 degrees in the Bavarian town of Kitzingen. 

Meteorologists blamed a blast of hot air from northern Africa for the current heatwave early in the European summer, which could send thermometers above 40 degrees in France, Spain and Greece on Thursday and Friday.

The high temperatures have led to unusual behaviour around the Bundesrepublik. A man was stopped by police in Brandenburg for riding naked on his moped, after which he replied “Is it hot or what?”

In Munich, there was a topless row as burly security guards ordered a group of women sunbathing half-naked to cover up. 

The heat also led to safety and environmental concerns. On the north coast, sweltering temperatures bent railway tracks out of shape on a popular tourist route near Rostock on the Baltic Sea and an official said a track-laying company were trying to fix the damage.

In the eastern state of Saxony-Anhalt, the heat caused high levels of ozone pollution, which the state environmental agency said could have detrimental effects for those suffering from allergies and asthma. 

The western city of Dortmund called on its citizens to help water trees in front of their homes.

“The young trees in the street area are suffering from extraordinary drought stress in the current heat,” they wrote on their website.

With reporting by AFP.

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Central and southern Italy brace for storms and heavy snow

Storms and snowfall are forecast across much of central and southern Italy over the next few days, according to weather reports.

Snow is forecast in the hills of much of central and southern Italy.
Snow is forecast in the hills of much of central and southern Italy. Photo: Miguel MEDINA / AFP

Italy’s Civil Protection Department on Monday issued ‘orange’ alerts for bad weather along Campania’s Tyrrhenian coastline and the western part of Calabria, while Sicily, Basilicata, Lazio, Molise, Umbria, Abruzzo, central-western Sardinia, and the remaining areas of Campania and Calabria are under a lower-level ‘yellow’ weather warning.

The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts is warning Italy’s central-southern regions to prepare for a blast of polar air from the Arctic Circle that will bring heavy snowfall, rain and storms, reports national weather forecaster Il Meteo.

The village of Grotte di Castro in the province of Viterbo, two hours’ drive north of Rome, mountainous parts of Sardinia, and much of the province of Campobasso in the central-eastern region of Molise were already blanketed in snow on Monday morning.

The department is responsible for predicting, preventing and managing emergency events across the country, and uses a green, yellow, orange and red graded colour coding system for weather safety reports.

An orange alert signifies a heavy rainfall, landslide and flood risk, while a yellow alert warns of localised heavy and potentially dangerous rainfall.

The current meteorological conditions mean that snow is expected to reach unusually low altitudes of around 450-500 metres, with flakes already falling thickly on parts of the southern-central Apennines mountain range at 500-700 metres altitude.

The hills of Marche, Abruzzo, Molise, Lazio, Sardinia, Campania, Calabria and Basilicata are likely to see heavy snow around the 500m mark, while areas at an altitude of 1000m or higher will see between 50-60 cm of fresh snow.

Affected parts of the country could see 50-60cm of snowfall.

Affected parts of the country could see 50-60cm of snowfall. Photo: Vincenzo PINTO /AFP

In areas where the snow is unlikely to reach, heavy rains and thunderstorms are anticipated, with rain forecast throughout Sardinia, Campania, Calabria and Lazio, reports Il Meteo.

Strong winds are forecast over the whole country, with the island regions of Sicily and Sardinia facing windspeeds of over 100km/hour and the risk of storm surges, according to the national newspaper La Repubblica.

READ ALSO: Climate crisis: The Italian cities worst affected by flooding and heatwaves

The north of the country, meanwhile, will see sun but low temperatures of below 0°C at night in many areas, including across much of the Po Valley.

While conditions are expected to stabilise on Tuesday, cold currents from Northern Europe are forecast to trigger another wave of bad weather on Wednesday and Thursday, with Sardinia and Italy’s western coastline again at risk of storms and heavy rainfall that will move up towards Lombardy, Emilia Romagna and Veneto in the north.