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Europe prepares for devastating heat wave

An intense heat wave is set to hit Europe, starting this week, accompanied by the ominous warning from Spanish meteorologist Silvia Laplana that “hell is coming.”

Temperatures are expected to rise as high as 45 degrees Celsius (113 Fahrenheit), French meteorologist Gillaume Woznica tweeted. That would break a record set in 2003, when a heat wave killed 15,000 people in France, Business Insider reports.

Temperatures are expected to top 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in many cities across Europe, according to CNN. Heat warnings have been issued for Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Switzerland. People have been advised to drink lots of water, stay out of the sun, and avoid strenuous activity when temperatures are hottest from midday through the afternoon.

Because these temperatures are so high above the average, they increase the danger for residents, who aren’t used to such soaring heat and aren’t prepared for it.

“When it is 105 (degrees Fahrenheit) in Phoenix or Kuwait, it is not nearly as big of a deal as if it is 105 in Chicago or Paris,” said CNN senior meteorologist Brandon Miller.

“But when summer temperatures are routinely in the 70s, like in northern Europe or the West Coast of the U.S., many places do not have air conditioning. This can turn deadly fast if heat waves strike and last for several days.”

Animal keeper Claudia Beck puts sunblock on a South American tapirAnimal keeper Claudia Beck puts sunblock on a South American tapir at the Serengeti-Park animal park in Hodenhagen, Germany, during a heat wave. (Photo: MOHSSEN ASSANIMOGHADDAM/AFP/Getty Images)

Though Europe does experience some heat waves, this one is occurring relatively early in the summer.

Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research told the Associated Press, “monthly heat records all over the globe occur five times as often today as they would in a stable climate.”

He added, “This increase in heat extremes is just as predicted by climate science as a consequence of global warming caused by the increasing greenhouse gases from burning coal, oil and gas.”

Mary Jo DiLonardo writes about everything from health to parenting — and anything that helps explain why her dog does what he does.

Europe prepares for devastating heat wave

Meteorologist tweets ‘hell is coming’ as Europe prepares for heat wave.

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