Temperatures challenge all-time records in Europe as wildfires rage in Turkey

By Adam Douty, AccuWeather senior meteorologist Updated Aug. 2, 2021 9:38 AM MDT

Relief from intense and record-setting heat in southeastern Europe is still days away, and AccuWeather meteorologists warn the prolonged warmth will continue to fuel dangerous wildfires across parts of the parched continent.

Fires have scorched large portions of southwestern Turkey during the end of July and the start of August. At least eight people have been killed by the flames while many others have suffered injuries, according to Reuters.

Among the dead are two firefighters that were killed on Saturday, CNN reported, citing Turkey’s Agriculture and Forestry Ministry. (Click Here)

Over 100 fires across Turkey during the past week have already been contained, though a number of fires in southwestern parts of the country remain out of control.

One of the fires burned near the popular resort community of Bodrum, which led to the evacuation of over 1,000 people by boat as the flames neared the coast.

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Fires have also charred parts of southern Italy, Greece and Cyprus as intense heat and dry conditions remain in place across the region.

The setup that led to the intense heat across southeastern Europe included a strong area of high pressure in the upper levels of the atmosphere that has remained over the Balkans, allowing a heat dome to form, according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Alyssa Smithmyer.

Much of eastern Europe had temperatures average 5-10 degrees F (3-6 degrees C) above normal for the month of July. During this time, parts of southern Greece and southwest Turkey reported no rainfall.1/5

A man down a road in the fire-devastating Sirtkoy village, near Manavgat, Antalya, Turkey, Sunday, Aug. 1, 2021. More than 100 wildfires have been brought under control in Turkey, according to officials. The forestry minister tweeted that five fires are continuing in the tourist destinations of Antalya and Mugla.

“A deficit in rainfall from dry weather earlier in the summer exacerbated the temperatures further as the dry surface heated up much more easily than what moist soil would,” Smithmyer said.

The peak of the heat is expected to occur on Monday and Tuesday. During this time, high temperatures across the interior of northern Greece could challenge the record for the hottest temperature ever recorded in Europe.

The current record for continental Europe stands at 118.4 F (48 C); that temperature record was set in Athens on July 10, 1997, according to the World Meteorological Organization.

The high temperature in Trikala can approach 117 F (47 C) on Monday. While highs on Tuesday may be slightly less extreme, it will still be dangerously hot to be outdoors for extended periods of time. (Click to Source)

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