40 C in June? Why Europe is roasting in another heat wave

Source(s)
CBC/Radio-Canada

By Nicole Mortillaro

Europe is baking.

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The culprit? Heat from northwest Africa that is making its way northward.

Of particular concern, [WMO spokesperson Clare] Nullis said, is what may lie ahead. The 2018 heat wave was the result of something called a blocking pattern, when the jet stream causes a weather system to stall for days or even weeks. Nullis said she hopes that doesn't happen again in this case.

Links to climate change

While it's too early to say for certain that this recent heat wave is connected directly to climate change, Nullis said scientists are getting better at attribution studies that can do exactly that.

"We're still in the middle or even the beginning of this heat wave. What we can say is that it's fully consistent with what we expect with climate change," Nullis said.

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Nullis said there is a silver lining in all of this: meteorological services and governments are becoming better at not only predicting heat waves, but also planning ahead in order to keep people safe. 

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