Europe Set for Hottest Summer Since 2006 as Warm August SeenRachel Morison
A warmer-than-average August is predicted for Europe, bringing what may be the hottest summer for eight years to northern parts of the region and boosting demand for power to keep cool.
Six of seven meteorologists polled by Bloomberg predict higher-than-normal temperatures this month for most of Europe, with the biggest deviations in northern nations. For parts of south and west Europe and the Norwegian Sea, it’s been one of the warmest January-to-June periods in 60 years, according to MeteoGroup U.K. Ltd.
“High pressure dominating across the north of Europe has maintained mostly sunny and dry weather and this trend is expected to continue,” Michael de Villiers, senior meteorologist at WSI Corp., said by e-mail from Birmingham, England, on July 30. The high pressure brings “a drier and warmer-than-normal easterly air flow from the hot Asian continent, resulting in higher temperatures.”
Hot weather can increase electricity use for air conditioning and cut the efficiency of thermal power stations, straining supplies at a time when generators typically undergo maintenance. Record sea temperatures forced utilities Vattenfall AB and EON SE to limit output from nuclear plants in Sweden, which gets almost half of its power from atomic energy.
Sea surface temperatures are as much as 7 degrees Celsius (12.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above the seasonal average in the northeastern Atlantic Ocean, North Sea and the Norwegian Sea, Matthew Dobson, a senior meteorologist at MeteoGroup, said by e-mail from London on July 30. Based on his August forecast for Europe, he expects this summer to be one of the warmest since at least 2006.
Daytime water temperatures on Sweden’s east coast rose to a record 24.5 degrees on July 26, according to the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute measuring station outside Vattenfall’s Forsmark nuclear plant. Output from the facility will drop 3 percent for every degree above 23 degrees in sea temperature, with reactors shutting above 26 degrees, Vattenfall said in a July 24 statement.
Meteorologists at MeteoGroup, Commodity Weather Group LLC, WSI, MetraWeather, SMHI and German state forecaster Deutscher Wetterdienst predict warmer-than-normal weather in most of Europe this month. MDA Information Systems LLC in Gaithersburg, Maryland, sees temperatures below average in the region’s center and east.
Weather conditions will be as much as 3 degrees above average in Germany and Scandinavia through Aug. 17, and as much as 2 degrees above usual in the U.K., Byron Drew, the Reading, England-based lead forecaster at MetraWeather, said in an e-mailed report. Temperatures in Italy and the Balkans will be below normal through Aug. 24.
Germany, Europe’s biggest power market, has been warmer than usual for 14 consecutive months, according to DWD. Temperatures will rise to as high as 28 degrees next week, 3 degrees above the norm for peak temperatures in early August, Andreas Friedrich, a meteorologist at DWD in Offenbach, Germany, said by phone on July 30. The average temperature for Germany in August is 16.4 degrees, based on a 1961-1990 reference period.
The average temperature from July 1 to 28 in the U.K. was 16.3 degrees, 1.2 degrees above the 1981-2010 average, according the latest figures from the Met Office. That would be the eighth-warmest July since 1910, the forecaster said on its website. Sweden had the hottest July since 2006, while the northwest of the country has had the warmest summer on record, according to SMHI.
Average temperatures in the U.K. are forecast to be 1.7 degrees above a seasonal norm of 16.2 degrees next week, according to WSI data on Bloomberg using the ECMWF model.
MDA forecasts a warmer-than-normal September for Europe due to lingering warm sea surface temperatures, while WSI sees above-average temperatures lasting through October.