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Weather tracking: Heat wave sweeps across parts of Europe as summer solstice approaches | Environment

Extreme heat has affected the Iberian Peninsula and France over the past week. These high temperatures occurred exceptionally early, this event being probably one of the most severe before the summer solstice.

It follows the hottest May on record for France and the hottest for Spain in at least 100 years. Temperatures were around 10°C above average in some places for this time of year, putting intense pressure on vulnerable groups and the demand for electricity for air conditioning.

The extreme heat developed after a plume of hot air traveled north from North Africa due to high pressure across the Mediterranean. The anticyclonic system intensified in southwestern Europe over the week, leading to a further rise in temperatures, helped by dry soils.

On Friday June 10, temperatures peaked at 41.6°C (106.9°F) in Badajoz, Spain, with the first 40°C of 2022 also recorded in Portugal. The next day, temperatures in Seville soared to 41.6C, well above the average maximum temperature of 33C.

Monday 13 In June, temperatures peaked at 38°C in France, with 40.7°C recorded in Madrid. The average maximum temperature for the city is around 30C. On June 14, temperatures reached 42.6°C in the Spanish town of Villarrobledo. On June 15, temperatures soared to 37.1°C in Châteaumeillant, France, with highs of 43°C reported in southern Spain. The next day, for the first time in 2022 in France, temperatures exceeded 40°C in the town of Argelliers.

Temperatures are expected to drop slightly across Spain this weekend, but heat is expected to intensify across France, gradually moving northeast towards Benelux, Germany and then Poland by Sunday.

Southern regions of the United States have also experienced record heat in recent days. Temperatures are expected to remain very high in the south this weekend, rising sharply in the plains this weekend.

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By next week, the southern and southeastern parts of the United States are likely to experience the highest temperatures due to a nearly stationary high pressure ridge.

The latest forecast models indicate that a handful of southeastern states, including Georgia, Alabama and Florida, could break their temperature records.