Europe and US brace for extreme temperatures as heatwave returns

Naomi Larsson
A girl cools off from the heat in New York City as extreme temperatures reach the East Coast - REUTERS

The United States and Europe are bracing for extreme heat this week as several countries face an incredible rise in temperatures.

Nearly 150 million people across the US are facing hazardous temperatures, and heat warnings have been issued in parts of eastern Canada. 

In the UK, temperatures could reach highs of 33 degrees on Tuesday, with Met Office forecasters warning of thunderstorms and several uncomfortable nights of sleep.

Southern England will have the hottest weather in the early part of the week, while heat builds across continental Europe with temperatures climbing to the mid-30s and even early 40s. 

Climate data showed June was the hottest month on record worldwide, with a heatwave across Europe smashing national temperature records.

June temperatures across the continent were 3 degrees hotter than the baseline average between 1850-1900, the European Union's Copernicus Climate Change Service said.

Europe’s heatwave was likened to “hell” when temperatures surpassed 40 degrees. France and the Baltic region saw a spike in drownings as crowds flocked to rivers and lakes to cool down. 

In the United States, this week’s extreme heat could potentially break records and claim lives as temperatures rise rapidly along the East Coast through to the Midwest. 

In New York City on Friday, mayor Bill de Blasio declared a “local emergency due to extreme heat”, opening 500 cooling centres for residents to escape the weather. 

"Saturday is going to be really, really bad, on through Sunday," Mr de Blasio said in a warning to the city. 

"Take care of yourself, don't go out in the heat if you don't need to... This is serious, serious stuff."