With some places recording air temperatures of more than 40°C (104°F), much of Europe is in the grip of a heatwave that set record highs for June. According to meteorologists, this current bout of sweltering weather is down to hot air being drawn from north Africa.
This map shows the temperature of the land on June 26, 2019. It has been generated using information from the Copernicus Sentinel-3’s Sea and Land Surface Temperature Radiometer, which measures energy radiating from Earth’s surface in nine spectral bands—the map therefore represents temperature of the land surface, not air temperature, which is normally used in forecasts. The white areas in the image are where clouds obscured readings of land temperature, and the light-blue patches are either low temperatures at the top of clouds or snow-covered areas.
Countries worst hit by this unusual June weather include Spain, France, Germany, Italy and Poland. In many places, heat warnings have been issued, and cities such as Paris have connected fountains and sprinklers to hydrants to help give people some relief. Wildfires in Catalonia, said to be the worst in two decades, have already ripped across 5,000 hectares of land and are being blamed on the heat and strong winds.
Image Credit: Contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2019), processed by ESA