- Hans Weber
- December 4, 2023
Record-breaking Heatwave Sweeps Across the Czech Republic, Posing Threats of Fires and Disrupted Services
Prague, Czech Republic – In an unprecedented turn of events, the Czech Republic grappled with scorching temperatures yesterday, breaking all-time records for 9 July at a staggering two-thirds of the country’s long-term measuring stations. Pavel Borovicka, a representative from the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute (CHMU), confirmed the intensity of the heatwave and its far-reaching consequences during a recent press conference.
The small town of Doksany in the Litomerice area took the brunt of the heat, as the mercury soared to an astonishing 36.4 degrees Celsius during the afternoon, marking the highest temperature recorded nationwide. Unfortunately, relief from the sweltering conditions appears to be far off, as meteorologists predict a continuation of high temperatures over the next few days.
Borovicka emphasized that the lower and central Polabi region experienced the most oppressive heat today, with eight stations reporting temperatures exceeding 35 degrees Celsius. Plzen-Bolevec followed closely behind Doksany, registering 36.2 degrees, while Kopisty in the Usti Region reached 35.7 degrees. Other affected areas included Husinec-Rez in Central Bohemia (35.4 degrees) and Dobrichovice near Prague and Dobrany near Plzen (both at 35.2 degrees). Even the major cities of Plzen-Mikulce and Prague-Komorany were not spared, both reaching 35 degrees.
Considering the severity of the heatwave, the Czech National Weather Service has issued a high temperature warning for Monday, with temperatures expected to surpass 31 degrees Celsius across most of the country. In South Moravia, where the alert has reached high levels, temperatures could skyrocket to a scorching 36 degrees. The weather service also anticipates sustained high temperatures throughout Tuesday and Wednesday, gradually refining the warning system to address potential risks.
Adding to the growing concerns, the Czech Republic finds itself at a heightened risk of wildfires due to the prolonged dry and warm weather conditions. Authorities have implemented a fire risk warning nationwide until further notice, prompting several regions to prohibit smoking and the lighting of fires in vulnerable areas such as forests, parks, and hay/straw storage locations.
Tragically, Saturday witnessed a surge in fire incidents, with firefighters responding to a staggering total of 181 blazes, more than half of which occurred in natural areas. These incidents continued into Sunday, as fires ravaged fields and mowed stubble. Near Libceves in the Louny area, a fire devoured approximately 20 hectares of farmland, likely ignited by a spark from a combine harvester. The repercussions of the fires were not limited to agriculture alone, as disruptions in rail services occurred due to fires along railway lines.
As the Czech Republic battles this unprecedented heatwave, authorities urge citizens to take necessary precautions to safeguard their well-being and the environment. Heightened awareness, fire safety measures, and adherence to official warnings remain essential to mitigate the potentially disastrous consequences of this extreme weather event.
Article by Prague Forum