An extreme heat wave reached the European continent over the weekend, and in some places even manifested itself in breaking records.
In Spain, the local meteorological service AEMET said it was probably the heaviest heat wave it had known in May in 20 years.
The reason for the unusual heat wave, with temperatures above 42 degrees (i.e. about 15 degrees above the average for the season), is the arrival of hot air from Africa through the Iberian Peninsula on Friday.
This mass of air, combined with the special conditions of the island that allow for relative isolation, produced a recipe for horrendous heat that is usually typical of the summer months but unusually homely for this time of year.
If that wasn’t enough, strong winds from the south brought solid air into the air.
"In parts of Spain the temperature has not dropped below 21 degrees in recent days, something that was unprecedented in May in the 21st century," the Meteorological Service said.
In addition, tornadoes in Germany wreaked havoc in a number of settlements in the west of the country, injuring at least 43 people, including 10 with serious injuries. And combined with heavy rain and hail, left immense damage to property.
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