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Central Europe: High temperatures forecast to persist across Austria, southern Germany, and Switzerland through at least Aug. 26 /update 1


Event

High temperatures are forecast to persist across parts of central Europe through at least Aug. 26. The affected area includes Austria, southern Germany, and much of Switzerland. Temperatures of around 30-35 (86-95 F) are expected across much of the affected region over the coming days.

As of Aug. 22, the Austrian Central Institution for Meteorology and Geodynamics (ZAMG) has issued orange heat warnings (the middle level on a three-tier scale) across eastern, north-central, and southern regions, as well as for far western Austria and around Innsbruck. Yellow heat warnings are in place across the rest of Austria. Further orange and yellow warnings are in place over similar areas through Aug. 26.

The German Meteorological Service (DWD) has issued extreme heat warnings (the highest level on a two-tier scale) across parts of western, southwestern, and far southern Baden-Wurttemberg State Aug. 22 and heat warnings across much of southern Germany. The service has forecast temperatures around 30-35 C (86-95 F) will continue across the southern half of the country Aug. 23-24, with a slight drop possible from Aug. 24.

Meteo Swiss has issued red heatwave warnings (the highest level on a three-tier scale) for central and southern Ticino and southwestern Grissons cantons in southern Switzerland through Aug. 25 and for Geneva and southern Vaud cantons in western Switzerland through Aug. 24. Orange heatwave warnings are in place across most of the northern half of the country and for parts of northern Ticino, central and northern Valais, and southeastern Vaud cantons in southern Switzerland through Aug. 24.

Officials could update and possibly extend the coverage of weather alerts over the coming days.

The high temperatures may result in increased energy and water demand and a heightened risk of heat-related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Hazardous Conditions
The extended period of oppressive heat and dry conditions may produce ideal circumstances for wildfire growth throughout the affected area. Heatwaves also pose a threat to vulnerable groups – such as the elderly, children, pregnant women, and those with respiratory illnesses – due to the increased possibility of heat stroke or heat exhaustion during prolonged exposure to high temperatures. These health risks could also extend to relatively healthy individuals during significant heatwave events.

Transport and Utilities
Very high temperatures may warp rail tracks and force passenger and freight trains to operate at reduced speeds. Road surface damage is also possible, and overheated vehicles may worsen traffic problems in urban areas where congestion is already a problem. Commercial trucking disruptions might occur as very high temperatures stress vehicles, making tire blowouts more common. Major flight disruptions are unlikely, but general aviation disruptions are possible, and some airfreight carriers could reduce cargo loads. High temperatures could lead to an increased demand for electricity, which might trigger localized brownouts or blackouts, exacerbating hazardous conditions when air conditioning is no longer possible.

Advice

Monitor local media for weather updates and related advisories. During heat waves, remain indoors in air conditioning when possible. If outdoor activities are necessary, frequently rest in shaded areas; avoid activity during the hottest times of the day. Stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. Avoid alcoholic beverages, which are dehydrating – drink bottled water or water that has been boiled. Wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing. Cotton fabrics are more cooling than synthetics. Promptly seek medical attention if signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke develop. Charge battery-powered devices in case prolonged electricity outages occur.

Source: CRISIS24

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