Records are usually broken by tenths of a degree, but last week’s heatwave was startling
Much of Europe endured a searing heatwave last week, as an unprecedented plume of hot air pushed northwards from Africa. Last Friday, France recorded its highest temperature of 45.9C at Gallargues-le-Montueux, in the south-east. All-time temperature records are commonly broken by tenths of a degree, but this exceeded the previous record, set during the heatwave of August 2003, by an extraordinary 1.8C. A number of countries in central Europe also broke their June temperature records on 26 June, with 38.9C recorded in Bad Kreuznach, in western Germany, 38.2C in Radzyn, western Poland, and 38.9C in Doksany in the Czech Republic.
Tropical Storm Alvin has become the eastern Pacific’s first tropical cyclone of 2019. Forming last Wednesday, it was unusually late for the season’s first named storm, in waters that often see greater activity during El Niño periods such as now. Alvin formed about 400 miles south-west of Manzanillo, Mexico and stayed away from land as it tracked westwards.