European temperatures are forecast to be split across the continent in August, with the south expected to extend the warmest July for three years, boosting energy demand, while the north will be cooler than average.
All eight forecasters surveyed by Bloomberg News agree the hot spell that affected Europe’s south in July will continue this month. Areas of southern France, Austria, the Netherlands and Switzerland reached record-high temperatures in July, while Europe as a whole had the hottest July since 2006, according to WSI Corp.
“Atlantic Ocean temperatures are controlling the thermostat,” Joe D’Aleo, chief meteorologist at New York-based WeatherBell Analytics LLC, said by e-mail Friday. “They are colder than normal north and warmer than normal from off Spain southwest to the central Atlantic.”
As Italians and Spaniards switched on air conditioning units and fans to combat temperatures as much as 12 degrees Celsius (22 degrees Fahrenheit) above normal last month, gas consumption in the U.K. dropped to the lowest since 2013, according to data from WSI and National Grid Plc. Use of cooling equipment in warm weather can boost demand for electricity and natural gas.
“With the recent heat wave in south Europe, demand for air conditioning and electricity has reached high levels,” Giacomo Masato, a research analyst at Marex Spectron Group in London, said in a July 30 report. “This is opposed to northern Europe, where temperatures have recently returned to the edge of the heating season.”
Southern Germany, Hungary and Serbia will see the highest “heat spikes,” with maximum temperatures reaching about 37 degrees Celsius this week, David Streit, a meteorologist at Commodity Weather Group, said by e-mail Friday.
The trough of low pressure causing the hot weather will move further east from Aug. 10, meaning temperatures in France and Germany will drop to near normal, according to Andreas Gassner, senior meteorologist at MeteoGroup.
Conditions in August will be “cool and unsettled” for northern Europe, including France and the U.K., according to MetraWeather. U.K. gas demand fell 2.5 percent to about 5 billion cubic meters (176 billion cubic feet) in the first 29 days of July, according to National Grid data. Maximum French electricity consumption is forecast to drop 1.7 percent in the week starting Aug. 10 to 48.6 gigawatts from 49.5 gigawatts this week, according to data from grid operator RTE.
The temperature divide will reverse in September, with warmer-than-normal weather forecast for Europe’s north and the south in line with the average, according to MDA Information Systems LLC.