Europe Heat Wave Has Shattered All-Time Records in Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, the U.K. and Paris

weather.com meteorologists
Published: July 26, 2019
A dome of high pressure aloft will surge into western and northern Europe this week, kicking off another heat wave.

Another Europe heat wave has shattered the all-time record in Paris and set national records in at least four countries.

The temperature in Paris (Parc Montsouris) climbed to at least 108.7°F on Thursday, smashing the city's previous all-time heat record of 104.7 degrees set on July 28, 1947.

London (Heathrow) set a new record for its hottest July temperature on Thursday when the temperature reached 98.4 degrees (previous record was 98 degrees).

A temperature of 101.7 degrees was reported at Cambridge University Botanic Garden in the United Kingdom on Thursday, preliminarily setting a new all-time record high for the United Kingdom. This was also only the second time on record that temperatures climbed over 100 degrees in the United Kingdom. At Oxford's Radcliffe Observatory, where temperatures have been monitored since 1815, a new all-time high of 97.7 degrees broke the old record by 2.5 degrees.

Actual Highs

Germany preliminarily set a new all-time high temperature record on Wednesday with a high of 104.9 degrees (previous record was 104.5). That record was topped Thursday with a preliminary national high of at 108.6 degrees.

On Wednesday, all-time record highs were broken in Belgium and the Netherlands and those records were then broken on Thursday.

The Netherlands set a new preliminary national record of at least 105.2 degrees – the first time any station in that country has exceeded 40 degrees Celsius. Belgium preliminarily set a new record of 107. 2 degrees. The previous record was 101.8 degrees in Belgium and 101.5 degrees in the Netherlands.

Luxembourg also set a new preliminary high temperature record of 105.4 degrees on Thursday.

Typical for heat waves, nighttime temperatures offered little relief.

Scotland set a new record for warmest all-time low temperature Thursday night into Friday with a low of just 69.6 degrees.

Wednesday night into Thursday may have been the warmest night in France on record, with a nationally averaged low temperature of 70.5 degrees. The previous record was 70.3 degrees set on August 14, 2003.

Some all-time-hottest daily low-temperature records were also set Tuesday in southwestern France, including the cities of Bordeaux (77 degrees) and Toulouse (76 degrees), according to Météo-France. These are average late-July low temperatures in both Houston and Tampa.

(MORE: Why Nighttime Temperatures Are Also Dangerous in a Heat Wave

According to Météo-France, all-time record highs were set Tuesday in western France, including the cities of Brive, Bordeaux and Châteauroux, where temperatures climbed above 105 degrees. That's equivalent to the average late-July high in Las Vegas and Phoenix.

About 25% of the weather network in France had set all-time heat records so far this summer as of Wednesday.

Forecast Into This Weekend

This latest heat wave is being triggered by an omega block, a type of upper-level high-pressure pattern resembling the Greek letter Ω that blocks and diverts the jet stream. This will allow hot air to surge northward from northern Africa and the Iberian Peninsula.

This upper-level feature may become one of the strongest on record to occur over Scandinavia, even by late-July standards, when it pinches off late in the week.

Forecast high-temperature departures from average for this latest European heat wave through Saturday. Areas in darker red and pink contours are expected to see temperatures the most above average each day.

Some relief will arrive in western Europe on Friday, though it may be accompanied by some severe thunderstorms with hail and flooding rain, according to Dave Reynolds, senior meteorologist at The Weather Company, an IBM Business.

The excessive heat may linger in Scandinavia, parts of Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic through the weekend.


Forecast Highs

A Record-Warm June

If all this sounds like déjà vu, you're right.

Just four weeks ago, eight countries set June national heat records during another long-lived heat wave.

France was the epicenter of this heat wave, setting a new national heat record of 46 degrees Celsius (114.8 degrees Fahrenheit) on June 28, a temperature you'd expect in Death Valley, California, not the south of France.

According to international weather records expert Maximiliano Herrera, 23 locations in France, 22 in Germany, 14 in Switzerland, eight in Austria, six in Spain, five each in Italy and Poland and three in the Czech Republic set new all-time record highs in the late-June heat wave.

Due in part to this heat wave, Europe had a record-warm June, according to NOAA's state of the climate report. The Czech Republic, Germany and Hungary each had a record-warm June. Austria recorded its hottest June in over 250 years of records.

The heat in Europe contributed to Earth's hottest June on record since the late 19th century.

"It will be interesting to see if the current heat-wave similarly helps to shatter the July temperature record," said Robert Rohde, lead scientist at Berkeley Earth, on Twitter.


The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.