Ein Mann liegt am 04.06.2015 bei bestem Wetter in Haltern (Nordrhein-Westfalen) am Ufer des Silbersees II unter einem Sonnenschirm. Foto: Marcel Kusch/dpa +++(c) dpa - Bildfunk+++ | Verwendung weltweit

Heat warnings across the country: July 20 was the hottest day of the year so far in Germany, and many people may have preferred their apartment to a trip to the lake. And those who had to work hopefully had the opportunity to cool off.

According to preliminary information from the German Weather Service, Wednesday was one of the hottest days since weather records began in 1881. Since then, average temperature values ​​have been calculated for Germany. According to preliminary information, new record values ​​were measured in six federal states on Wednesday.

The 790 residents of the Neunkirchen district in Bad Mergentheim, Baden-Württemberg, sweated the most, where the temperature peaked at 40.3 degrees Celsius. This is close to the highest temperature ever measured in Germany: 41.2 degrees on July 25, 2019 in Duisburg-Baerl and Tönisvorst.

As a press spokesman for the German Weather Service confirmed to the Tagesspiegel, the routine checking of the measured values ​​is still ongoing. Experience has shown that most of the provisional values ​​are confirmed.

However, the reported temperature in Bad Mergentheim-Neunkirchen was an outlier compared to other nearby test stations. It remains to be seen whether the final value will really be that high.

For a long time now, extreme temperatures like Wednesday’s can no longer be dismissed as rare outliers. Reassuring sentences like “We’ve always had hot days” lose their effect when you look at the statistics:

In 2021 the average temperature in Germany was 9.1 degrees. That may not sound particularly warm, but it was 0.9 degrees above the value of the internationally valid reference period from 1961 to 1990. This made 2021 the eleventh year that was too warm in a row.

The effects of extreme heat are currently being seen in southern Europe, where forest fires and drought are rampant in the middle of the economically important holiday season.

As the “New York Times” writes, citing scientific findings, the heat waves in Europe – which began in May – are part of a trend. Their frequency and intensity are therefore increasing faster than almost anywhere else on earth. Man-made climate change favors extreme weather all over the world. In many cases, the heat is harmful to health.

[Also read: Air conditioning body: That’s how well humans cope with the heat (T)]

Temperatures in Germany have cooled down in many places on Thursday. Heat warnings only apply in eastern regions and in southwestern Baden-Württemberg. Instead, heavy precipitation is to be expected, especially in the north-west.