- In the northern German town of Lingen, a new national record temperature of 42C (107.6 F) was set in the afternoon, breaching the previous high set just minutes earlier. But this latest hot spell isn't all frolicking in the fountains.
Hailstorms pounding France the day after record-breaking heat have forced an extraordinary halt to the Tour de France. Trains were cancelled in Britain and France, with authorities in both nations urging travellers to stay home.
What was significant, she said, was that the records had been broken by 2, 3 or 4 degrees, and not by a usual fraction of a degree. Belgium, too, recorded its highest-ever temperature this week, hitting 40.2ºC (104.4ºF) close to the city of Liege on Wednesday.
While extreme weather events like heatwaves occur naturally, "research shows that with climate change they are likely to become more common, perhaps occurring as regularly as every other year", the UK's Met Office says.
Across the area affected by the unusually high heat, stretching from France up to Norway in the north, people sought out ways to cool off in lakes and rivers, leading to an increase in drowning incidents.
The Netherlands' meteorological institute said 40.4 C (104.72 F) was recorded Thursday in the municipality of Gilze Rijen, near the border with Belgium.
Belgium registered an all-time high of 39.9C at the Kleine-Brogel military base, beating a record that dated back to June 1947.
More record temperatures were expected to be hit later in the day in cities across Europe.
Today will be the main peak of the heatwave, with the potential for record temperatures of over 38.5C.
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"According to forecasts, and this is of concern, the atmospheric flow is now going to transport that heat towards Greenland", said U.N. World Meteorological Organization spokeswoman Clare Nullis.
Forecasters predicted new temperature highs in neighbouring countries Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany and the Netherlands, where the mercury could beat the previous record of 38.6 degrees Celsius on Wednesday, according to the Dutch weather office.
Never in recorded history has Paris been hotter than it was on Thursday.
Climate specialists said such heatwaves are becoming more frequent as a result of global warming from greenhouse gas emissions. The slow jet stream is "a big part of the story when it comes to these very persistent heat extremes we have seen in recent summers", Mann said in an email.
By Thursday afternoon in the United Kingdom, the maximum July temperature record was broken in Heathrow, London, as the mercury rose to 98 degrees, according to the Met Office.
DWD officials earlier put the entire country on a heatwave warning after June's surge in temperatures set tinder dry conditions for wildfires to ignite in eastern states.
London might see 39° C (102° F).
Those measures include a color-coded heat alert system to warn people when temperatures are expected to rise to unsafe levels in their area.
However, there was tragedy in Austria when a two-year-old boy died of dehydration after getting into an overheated parked vehicle at a family farm in the Styria region.
The Earth does goes through natural cycles of warming and cooling, and individual weather events can not typically be ascribed to climate change.