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Oppressive Heat Bakes Much of Europe

August 03, 2013; 2:20 AM

August got off to a scorching start across much of central and western Europe. A blast of hot air spread across the region allowing temperatures to soar into the mid- and upper 30s Celsius.

The hot spell preceded a storm system moving into the northern United Kingdom. Ahead of this storm, a flow of hot air from the south made for a very uncomfortable Thursday and Friday in many places.

A smattering of oppressively hot temperature observations include 35C (95F) in Rome, 34 in London, 33 in Frankfurt and 38 (101F) in Madrid.

While cooler weather pressed into England Friday, the heat was still on in central Europe. Florence, Italy climbed to 37C (99F) late in the afternoon while Frankfurt topped out near 35C.

This excessive heat continued the trend of a warm last month in much of Europe. Since July 1, locations such as London, Paris and Madrid have all averaged at least 2.8 degrees Celsius (5F) above normal.

Thankfully, a break from the heat is on the way for western Europe this weekend and into next week. Cooler air will filter into the region from the northern Atlantic and bring temperatures much closer to average.

While the western part of the continent cools, the core of the heat will shift eastward to include Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia and Croatia. Southern Spain as well as Italy will also remain quite warm.

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