Brutal heat wave in Europe descends lighter in Türkiye, says expert
The heat wave that has gripped Europe and hit an all-time high temperature in the region will spread across Türkiye as of July 22, a prominent Turkish meteorologist has warned, underlining that it will not be as detrimental as in Europe, increasing temperatures by 3 to 6 degrees Celsius.
“The temperature in Istanbul, which is currently 28C, will rise up to 33-34C on July 22-23-24, while it is expected to reach 40C in Edirne and may exceed 40C in [the western province of] İzmir, [the Aegean province of] Muğla and [the southern province of] Antalya,” said Orhan Şen.
The humidity will decrease in Antalya and Muğla at the weekend, which means that the risk of forest fires increases and it is necessary to take precautions, said Şen, adding that the hot weather, which will last until the end of the week, may continue on Monday.
Although the air temperature is still not above the seasonal norms throughout the Marmara Region, it is expected to increase 3 to 5 degrees in three of Türkiye’s provinces in the Thrace region, namely Edirne, Kırklareli and Tekirdağ, according to the Directorate General of Meteorology.
Between July 21-24, it is estimated to hover around 36-37C in Edirne, 33-34C in Kırklareli, and 34-35C in Tekirdağ’s western districts.
“The air temperature will be four to six degrees above seasonal norms in the west of Marmara [region] and the coastal parts of the Aegean and Mediterranean [regions],” said Fevzi Burak Tekin, an official from the Directorate General of Meteorology.
Tekin emphasized that there is no risk of the extreme heat witnessed in Europe to be seen in Türkiye. “As of today, the heat wave is leaving Europe, while the temperature in Türkiye will rise only in coastal areas, which means the areas where the heat wave will have its effect will be limited.”
“We expect inland areas to receive precipitation below seasonal norms,” he added.
“We have been feeling the effect of the heat for the last few days, but the strong wind has decreased its intensity,” said Deniz Demirhan, an assistant professor from Istanbul Technical University. “Starting today, we will start to feel it more intensely.”
The authorities warned the elderly, children and those with chronic illnesses to be careful and cautious against heat stroke at noon.
In recent days, unusually high temperatures have gripped swaths of Europe, triggering wildfires from Portugal to the Balkan region. Some countries are also experiencing extended droughts. Climate change makes such life-threatening extremes less of a rarity and has brought heat waves even to places like Britain, which braced for possibly record-breaking temperatures.
The hot weather in the U.K. was expected to be so severe this week that train operators warned it could warp the rails and some schools set up wading pools to help children cool off.
French forecasters also warned of possible record temperatures as swirling hot winds complicated firefighting efforts in the country’s southwest.
In Spain, meanwhile, more than 30 forest fires have forced the evacuation of thousands of people and blackened 220 square kilometers (85 square miles) of forest and scrub.
Climate scientists say heat waves are more intense, more frequent and longer because of climate change, and coupled with droughts have made wildfires harder to fight. They say climate change will continue to make weather more extreme and wildfires more frequent and destructive.