Western Europe is expecting a potentially devastating heat wave that could reach temperatures above 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
By Thursday afternoon temperatures can reach more than 96 degrees Fahrenheit and rise above 104 degrees throughout most of the continent. The World Meteorological Organization also cautioned the heat could become "deadly." The EU's Joint Research Centre (JRC) said warm air masses from Africa are causing the extreme weather, which will gradually build up by Wednesday. Temperatures are likely to be this hot until the end of month and early July, especially over France and southern Spain. „A large storm system is stuck in the eastern Atlantic, west of Europe. That storm is continually pumping heat northward into Europe. This is creating not only record hot air, but also a long-lasting heat wave especially in southern Europe," meteorologists explained.
Paris has activated an extreme heat plan. Authorities organized air-conditioned public places where people could seek shelter from the heat. The mayor's office also installed more than 1,000 drinking fountains across the city. Water will be distributed and a care plan will be put into effect for vulnerable people. School exams were postponed. International soccer federation FIFA could also face implementing heat precautions at the Women's World Cup, which France is hosting. In 2003, in France there were nearly 15,000 heat-related deaths during the heat wave, which had eight consecutive days of temperatures above 104 degrees Fahrenheit.