June 21, 2024

Europe is ravaged by droughts, storms and fires

It has been dry in the Lowlands for weeks, while it is raining in southern Switzerland. This picture can be transmitted to the whole continent in a similar way: no rain in the north, rain in the south with thunderstorms. But that doesn’t mean the South doesn’t have to grapple with drought — quite the opposite.

Images of New York shrouded in smoke have spread around the world. Smoke had drifted from wildfires in Canada into the Big Apple. ARD meteorologist Sven Plogger believes that such conditions are also possible in Germany.

“If you are not very lucky, it is sufficient for a small fire to break out in the forest and the opposite wind direction. Then this can also happen in German cities,” says Plogger to “Fox.”

Prolonged drought increases the risk of wildfires. The result can be seen in Jüterbog, Brandenburg, where the forest has been burning since the end of May.

According to “SRF Meteo”, a lack of precipitation is expected, especially in the east. The situation is not so tragic yet. Some federal states are considering whether farmers must pay for their water.

In the south of the country, the new weather condition is expected to lead to more storms today and tomorrow. Floods and landslides can occur.

In southern France, regions on the border with Spain have declared a state of crisis due to the continuing drought. Farmers are rarely allowed to water their plants, and citizens must limit themselves. There may be a failure in the water supply. The French weather service rates wildfire risks as low to medium.

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Bonfires were already burning in Spain in the spring. The European Forest Fire Information System EFFIS has already counted 324 fires. Just over 66,000 hectares burned.

For comparison: last year there were a total of 493 fires and 306,555 hectares. In EFFIS statistics since 2006, 2022 was a definite turning point, and never before with so many fires. Many of the fires this year are blamed on drought and high temperatures.

Cameras from the European Union’s Atmospheric Monitoring Service observed increased wildfire activity in the Northern Hemisphere in April and May. In Canada in particular, there have been more wildfires due to higher temperatures and drought. Emissions records have been broken in many Canadian regions.

The cameras also noted above-average wildfire activity in Spain, Kazakhstan and Mongolia.