Greece facing longest heatwave on record while record highs hit US


ATHENS-Greece was Saturday facing its hottest July weekend in 50 years, with temperatures forecast to soar above 40 Celsius (104 Fahrenheit), while a record-breaking heatwave stretching across the southern United States was expected to expand in the coming days.

Tens of millions of people in the northern hemisphere have been suffering through intense heat this summer as the world appears headed for its hottest July on record.

As temperature records tumble, experts have pointed the finger at climate change driven by the burning of fossil fuels, saying global warming is playing a key role in destructive weather.

Already 11 days into its heatwave, Greece’s national weather institute warned reprieve was still days away, setting this up to be the longest hot spell the country has ever seen.

“According to the data, we will probably go through 16-17 days of a heatwave, which has never happened before in our country,” Kostas Lagouvardos, the director of research at the National Observatory, told ERT television Saturday.

The previous heatwave record in Greece was set in 1987 when scorching temperatures of over 39C lasted 11 days.

Across the southern United States, about 80 million Americans will swelter in temperatures of 41C and above this weekend, the National Weather Service (NWS) said. The country’s worst heat of up to 46C is forecast for Phoenix, Arizona, which has seen a record-breaking three weeks in a row of highs above 43C.__The Nation