The Latest on Europe’s heat wave (all times local):
The U.N. weather agency is voicing “concern” that the hot air which produced a record-breaking heat wave across much of western Europe this week is headed toward Greenland and that it could lead to increased melting of ice.
Heat records in France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany tumbled in recent days as hot air surged from North Africa and Spain.
World Meteorological Organization spokeswoman Clare Nullis said in Geneva that forecasts suggest the air is heading towards Greenland.
This, she said, “will result in high temperatures and consequently enhanced melting of the Greenland ice sheet.”
Nullis said ice has been melting at high levels over the last few weeks in Greenland.
Travelers are facing a second day of disruption in Britain after record breaking July temperatures gave way to thunderstorms.
Network Rail, which oversees the majority of Britain’s railway network, is advising commuters to “only travel if their journey is absolutely necessary,” after Thursday’s disturbances left trains in haphazard locations and a fire damaged networks in the north.
The Met office says the mercury reached 38.1 C (100.6 F) in Cambridge on Thursday, only the second time temperatures over 100 F have ever been recorded in the UK.
The heat eased Friday, but Heathrow, Europe’s biggest airport, was forced to cancel or delay flights amid severe weather conditions. The airport admits they don’t know how many flights have been affected.
British Airways also announced that “severe thunderstorms are causing significant delays and cancellations to our operation in and out of London.”
Belgium suffered a first death as a direct result of the record-breaking heat wave when a woman was found dead near her caravan close to the beach.
The 66-year-old woman was found by a neighbor late Thursday afternoon after she had apparently been basking in the blazing sun. The incident happened in Middelkerke on the Belgian coast as temperatures rose in the region to over 40 degrees Celsius.
Middelkerke police commissioner Frank Delva told The Associated Press that the death is “very clearly linked to the heat.”
Emergency services rushed to the scene but could not resuscitate the woman.
On Thursday, Belgium endured, like many parts of Western Europe, its hottest day on record when the temperature rose to 41.8 C in Begijnendijk, 30 kilometers (20 miles) east of Brussels.
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