Cooling off in Paris near Eiffel Tower, 25 July 2019 (AP Photo/Rafael Yaghobzadeh)
The second summer heat wave gripping Europe peaked on Thursday with new all-time record highs set in several countries.
Paris climbed to a stifling 42.6 C breaking the French capital’s previous record high of 40.4 C from July 1947.
The temperature climbed above 40 C in the Netherlands at Gilzen-Rijen for the first time ever when it reached 40.7 C and Lingen, Germany set a new country record of 42.6 C.
Records were also set in Belgium (41.8 C) and Luxembourg (40.8 C).
The UK Met Office is verifying whether a high of 38.7 C at Cambridge is the warmest temperature ever for the United Kingdom.
The jet stream has carried hot air from northern Africa across western Europe which is shattering all-time record highs in numerous countries.
The second extreme heat wave this summer has set new maximums in Belgium at 38.9 C, the Netherlands at 39.2 C and Germany at 40.5 C.
Bordeaux, France reached 41.2 C on Tuesday which was its highest temperature ever.
Thanks to the urban heat island effect, major cities are more prone to hot weather than rural areas and don’t cool down that much overnight.
On Thursday, the UK Met Office believes Britain could smash its current historic high of 38.5 C recorded in Faversham in August 2003.
Waves crash the seawall at Dawlish in Devon, England, 28 October 2013 (Reuters)
Hurricane strength winds battered Britain, northern France, the Netherlands and Scandinavia on Monday, cutting power and hampering air and rail travel.
Gusts of up to 160 km/h lashed southern England and Wales – the worst in a decade according to forecasters.
Thousands of London commuters were stuck at home after train and Tube lines were forced shut by toppled trees and power failures.
Reports say more than a dozen people have been killed so far in the powerful autumn storm.