An intense series of heatwaves across Europe paired with unusually dry conditions have led to a summer of extremes - C3S 

Summer 2022 was Europe’s hottest on record, according to the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), implemented by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts on behalf of the European Commission.

It found the average temperature over Europe in 2022 was the highest on record for both August and summer (June – August) by substantial margins of 0.8°C over 2018 for August and 0.4°C over 2021 for the summer as a whole.

European temperatures were most above average in the east of the continent in August, but were still well above average in the south-west, where they had been high also in June and July.

“An intense series of heatwaves across Europe paired with unusually dry conditions, have led to a summer of extremes with records in terms of temperature, drought and fire activity in many parts of Europe, affecting society and nature in various ways,” said senior scientist for the Copernicus Climate Change Service, Freja Vamborg. 

”The Copernicus Climate Change Service data shows that we’ve not only had record August temperatures for Europe but also for summer, with the previous summer record only being one year old.”

Globally, the average August 2022 temperature was 0.3°C higher than the 1991-2020 average for the month, and the joint third warmest August on record.

Heatwaves were prevalent in parts of Europe and over central and eastern China for all three summer months. North America also experienced one of its warmest summers  

From droughts to extreme rainfall and floods

In terms of hydrological conditionsAugust 2022 was generally much drier than average in much of western and parts of eastern Europe.

Conversely, it was wetter-than average over most of Scandinavia and parts of southern and southeastern Europe. Southern regions were hit by a “derecho” storm, with extreme winds and rainfall.

Conditions were also wetter than average in many extratropical regions of North America and Asia: in many locations heavy precipitation triggered floods and inundations. Pakistan saw particularly severe conditions with record breaking rainfall.

Among the drier-than-average extratropical regions, parts of China experienced severe drought.

In boreal summer 2022, it was drier than average in central North and South America and across central Asia. The Horn of Africa continued to experience drought.

Conditions were predominantly wetter-than-average in south Asia, particularly in Pakistan, in eastern Australia and in most of southern Africa.

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