Temperature records broken in Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands today

Mark Kaufman

It's back.

After a June heat wave smashed national temperature records in France and broke historic June records across Europe, a mass of hot air has returned to the continent.

On Wednesday, the Netherlands Meteorological Institute reported that the nation's all-time temperature record, which stood for the last 75 years, fell as temperatures hit 101.8 degrees Fahrenheit (38.8 C).

Belgium broke its national heat record too, as temperatures reached 103.8 F (39.9 C), reported David Dehenauw, the head of forecasting at the Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium. And the the German Meteorological Service announced its highest temperature in recorded history, of 104.9 degrees Fahrenheit (40.5 C).

The Germany weather agency noted that this brand new record might last for one day.

That's because there's substantially more heat to come. On Thursday, the UK Met Office expects temperatures to reach over 102 F (39 C), easily toppling the nation's previous temperature record by nearly 1 degree F. Meanwhile, France's weather agency, Météo-France, predicts temperatures could reach 107.6 F (42 C) in Paris. This would smash the previous Parisian record of 40.4 C, set over 70 years ago. (Paris has temperature records going back to 1658, when Louis the Great reigned over the country.)

While heat waves are natural occurrences — typically caused by persistent weather patterns that allow big zones of high pressure to settle over a region and bring clear skies and warm air — Earth's relentlessly rising levels of background warming amplify heat waves, like an athlete pumping performance-enhancing drugs. This means that historic temperatures are expected to fall, have been falling, and will continue to fall.

"Global temperatures are increasing due to climate change and this means that Europe can expect more record-breaking heatwaves in the future," Len Shaffrey, a climate scientist at the University of Reading in the UK, told Mashable during June's heat wave.

SEE ALSO: Climate change will ruin train tracks and make travel hell

Boosted global temperatures have at least doubled the probability of heat extremes in Europe, similar to last summer's scorching events, Shaffrey added.

Over the last 100 years, Europe has experienced an increase in heat waves. Since 1500 AD, the region's five hottest summers have occurred in 2018, 2016, 2010, 2003, and 2002.

European warming is right in line with the overall warming trend seen around the globe: Since 2001,18 of the last 19 years have been the warmest on record.

June 2019 rounded out as the warmest June in 139 years of record keeping. July could soon follow in its footsteps, meaning this July is in the running to be the hottest month ever recorded.

UPDATE: July 24, 2019, 3:44 p.m. EDT: This story was updated to include Germany's temperature record.

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