The Tragic True Story Of The 2003 European Heat Wave

Despite the fact that the 2003 European heat wave broke numerous records with its skyrocketing temperatures, those records wouldn’t last long. As reported in The Lancet, on June 28, 2019, a weather station in France recorded a temperature of 114.6 degrees Fahrenheit, breaking the previous temperature record that was set during the 2003 heat wave by over three degrees. The United Kingdom also saw its temperature record broken in 2019 as temperatures hit a high of 102 F.

But even these records were soon broken. During the summer of 2022, European countries once again saw themselves in the midst of another record-breaking heat wave. The Met Office reports that on July 19, 2022, temperatures in the United Kingdom exceeded 104 F, breaking the previous record set in 2019 by two degrees. Due to the high temperatures, London also saw an increase in fires across the city, per Deutsche Welle.

Many records were broken in the summer of 2022 as early as June. The Washington Post reports that on June 18, 2022, the countrywide temperature average in France rose to 81.3 F, which, according to the paper, was the warmest temperature seen that early into summer in 75 years. At least three other French cities also saw all-time records hit in June of 2022. Other countries that also saw records broken by June included Poland and Germany.

Wildfires in France, Greece, and Italy have forced the evacuations of thousands of people and in Germany, 10 out of 16 states have issued the highest of forest fire alert warnings.

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