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July was ‘too hot and too dry’ despite storms

Although temperatures have cooled dramatically and there has been heavy rain in the past few days, July goes down as one of the hottest for 30 years.

July was ‘too hot and too dry’ despite storms
It was a good month for sunbathers. Photo: badi-info.ch

Meteorologists say it was too warm and too dry in many parts of Switzerland, the Swiss news agency SDA reported.

According to weather service, Meteomedia, the month that is coming to a close is the fourth hottest since records began.

Only in 1983, 1994 and 2006 was the month of July warmer.

The reason is not just the heatwave that hit Switzerland last weekend, when temperatures reached up to 37 degrees Celsius.

Almost every day of the past month has been warmer than average. North of the Alps July was two degrees warmer than the reference year of 1981.

Joachim Schug of Meteomedia said this July was very humid and relatively stormy.

“There were only six days with no storms in Switzerland,” he said.

He said that nationwide 46,075 flashes of lightning had been recorded.

Despite the storms many places were much drier than usual for July.

According to the meteorology service there were 50 to 100 more hours of sunshine than normal, with 200 hours in northern Ticino and the Alps and 350 in northeastern Switzerland.

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WILDFIRES

Europe facing record year for wildfire destruction: EU

Europe's blistering summer may not be over yet, but 2022 is already breaking records, with nearly 660,000 hectares ravaged since January, according to the EU's satellite monitoring service.

Europe facing record year for wildfire destruction: EU

And while countries on the Mediterranean have normally been the main seats of fires in Europe, this year, other countries are also suffering heavily.

Fires this year have forced people to flee their homes, destroyed buildings and burned forests in EU countries, including Austria, Croatia, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain.

Some 659,541 hectares (1.6 million acres) have been destroyed so far, data from the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) showed, setting a record at this point in the year since data collection began in 2006.

Europe has suffered a series of heatwaves, forest fires and historic drought that experts say are being driven by human-induced climate change.

They warn more frequent and longer heatwaves are on the way.

The worst-affected country has been Spain, where fire has destroyed 244,924 hectares, according to EFFIS data.

The EFFIS uses satellite data from the EU’s Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS).

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: How the climate crisis is hitting Europe hard

The data comes after CAMS said Friday that 2022 was a record year for wildfire activity in southwestern Europe and warned that a large proportion of western Europe was now in “extreme fire danger”.

“2022 is already a record year, just below 2017,” EFFIS coordinator Jesus San-Miguel said. In 2017, 420,913 hectares had burned by August 13, rising to 988,087 hectares by the end of the year.

“The situation in terms of drought and extremely high temperatures has affected all of Europe this year and the overall situation in the region is worrying, while we are still in the middle of the fire season,” he said.

Since 2010, there had been a trend towards more fires in central and northern Europe, with fires in countries that “normally do not experience fires in their territory”, he added.

“The overall fire season in the EU is really driven mainly by countries in the Mediterranean region, except in years like this one, in which fires also happen in central and northern regions,” he added.

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