WMO: Summer of extremes continues, becoming new normal

WMO: Summer of extremes continues, becoming new normal
20 / 08 / 2023
بقلم Marwa Nassar - -

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said the summer of extremes continues as extreme weather is becoming the new normal.

The WMO said July was the hottest month ever recorded . The high-impact weather is continuing through August.

“This is the new normal and does not come as a surprise,” said Alvaro Silva, a climate expert with WMO. “The frequency and intensity of many extremes, such as heatwaves and heavy precipitation, have increased in recent decades. There is high confidence that human induced climate change from greenhouse emissions, is the main driver,” he told a regular media briefing in Geneva.

Moderate and severe heat warnings for the third week of August have been issued by several national meteorological and hydrological services in Europe, including from France, Switzerland, Germany, Poland, Croatia, Italy, Greece, Hungary, Austria, Lithuania.

WMO stresses the need to follow authoritative warnings from national meteorological and hydrological services to stay safe.

Morocco set a new national temperature record of 50.4 °C in Agadir on 11 August, as temperatures crossed 50°C for the first time. Turkey reported a new national temperature record of 49.5°C on 15 August, beating the previous record of 49.1°C set in July 2021. Many parts of the Middle East also saw temperatures of above 50°C.

Spain, including Canary Islands, and Portugal also experienced extreme heat, fuelling an extremely severe fire risk. As of 17 August, the Tenerife wildfire continued out of control, with more than 2600 ha burnt area and people evacuated in some sites. Dry conditions, maximum temperatures above 30 °C, night temperatures above 20 °C, peak wind gusts above 50 km/h were observed on 16 and 17 in some AEMET weather stations of Tenerife.

Japan has also suffered a prolonged heatwave, with many station records broken, according to the Japanese Meteorological Agency, which issued concurrent warnings for torrential rain and typhoon-related floods.

Canada’s record-breaking wildfire season continues. More than 600 wildfires were out of control in Canada as of 17 August. In total there are more than 1 000 active firest, including 265 in the Northwestern Territories near the Arctic Circle. Authorities issued an evacuation order for the town of Yellowknife.

Environment and Climate Change Canada issued heat warnings in western Canada and widespread poor air quality warnings.

In the United States, the US National Weather Service said maximum temperature of much of the Central and Southeast US is expected to be above 100 °F (38 °C) in many parts and numerous daily temperature records forcast.

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