Nearly half of the Europe is currently baking in scorching heat as a mass of really hot air moving in from the Sahara desert is slowly engulfing the continent. With temperatures expected to hit as much as 45 degrees Celsius later this week (113 degrees Fahrenheit) some desperate measures need to be taken.
According to Bloomberg, the hot air now lingering over most of Western Europe has forced German authorities to get involved and place temporary speed limits on portions of the Autobahn, the famous highway system that here and there lets you drive as fast as you like.
As per the source, there are now limitations in place forcing motorists to drive as slow as 100 km/h (62 mph). The decision was taken because the extreme heat could affect the quality of the road surface and endanger everyone on it.
More specifically, something the Germans are calling blow-ups occurs: the road surface expands because of the heat, pressing against itself until it bursts like a bubble.
Such occurrences were seen in several locations across the country. No reports of accidents or injuries were yet reported.
Europeans are not used to the extreme heat coming their way. Although throughout the years similar waves were reported, such events are rare.
The worst people there experienced was in 2003, when the hottest summer in centuries was recorded. It’s unclear to this day how many people died as a result, but estimates place the death toll to anywhere between 50,000 and 70,000.
Germany faced similar conditions last year, when a severe drought crippled rive shipping on the Rhine.This year, the country is already experiencing the hottest June on record.
“At our local Potsdam station, operating since 1893, we’re set to break the past June record by about 2C,” Stefan Rahmstorf from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research said in a tweet.