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Germany Breaks its All-Time Heat Record

By: Jeff Masters 4:24 AM GMT on July 06, 2015

Germany broke its all-time heat record on Sunday July 5, when the mercury soared to 104.5°F (40.3°C) at the official Kitzingen station in Bavaria. According to the German weather service's Facebook page, the record is now confirmed as official. The previous official national heat record recognized by the German meteorological agency (DWD) was 104.4°F (40.2°C), set in July 1983 and matched in August 2003. Numerous cities in Germany set all-time heat records over the weekend, including Saturday's 100.2°F (37.9°C ) reading at Berlin's Dahlem station, which has a very long period of record going back to 1876. Frankfurt beat its all-time heat record on Sunday--both at the airport (38.8°C) and downtown (39.0°C). Thanks go to weather records researcher Maximiliano Herrera and Klimahaus' Michael Theusner for these stats. According to an analysis of DWD observing station data done by Dr. Theusner, 131 of 492 stations in Germany set an all-time heat record during the July 2 - 5 heat wave, and another 7 tied their previous record.

Figure 1. A young boy jumps from a 7.5 meter platform at a crowded outdoor pool during a record heat wave in Frankfurt, Germany, Friday, July 3, 2015. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

More near-record heat on the way
Germany has joined four other nations that have set all-time July national heat records this month: the Netherlands, the U.K., Thailand, and Colombia. Intense heat will continue over portions of Europe the next three days, with more national July heat records at risk. The fiercest heat will be over Poland on Monday, over Germany, Switzerland, and Austria on Tuesday, then shift to Southeast Europe on Wednesday. High temperatures close to the highest values ever measured can be expected in all these locations. For reference:

Poland's all-time hottest temperature is 104.4°F (40.2°C), measured on July 29, 1921 at Proszkow.

Switzerland's all-time hottest temperature is 106.7°F (41.5°C), measured on August 11, 2003 at Grono.

Austria's all-time hottest temperature is 104.9°F (40.5°C), measured on August 8, 2013 at Bad Deutsch-Altenburg.

Liechtenstein's all-time hottest temperature is 99.3°F (37.4°C), measured on August 13, 2003 at Ruggel.

Andorra's all-time hottest temperature is 101.3°F (38.5°C), measured on July 16, 2005 at Andorra La Vella.

Climate Change Playing a Significant Role in 2015 European Heat Wave
According to a press release by Climate Central, an international team of scientists from Oxford University, KNMI, Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, along with regional partners from CNRS and MeteoSwiss says it is virtually certain that climate change increased the likelihood of the ongoing heat wave stretching across much of Europe. The risk increased by a factor of two or more over a large part of Europe, and up to more than a factor of four in some of the hottest cities. For example, the 3-day heat wave over the past three days in Mannheim, Germany would have been a 1-in-100 year event around the year 1900. It is now likely to happen roughly 1 in 15 years, thanks to climate change. The results are a part of the developing field of “weather attribution” that uses observational weather and climate data, weather forecasts and climate models.

Jeff Masters

Heat Climate Change

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.